Should Aristotle pass the buck? : on choosing a virtuous act for itself
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In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle identifies three conditions that are necessary in order for a virtuous act to have been done as a virtuous agent: the act must be done (1) knowingly, (2) for itself, and (3) from a steady disposition. I examine previous interpretations of the second item, and then offer my own: a virtuous act is chosen for itself if it is chosen for its virtue-making features that are also reasons to do the act, and these features motivate the agent to such an extent that the agent would do the act even if there were no other reason to do it.