A Metaphorical, Heuristic Account of Aristotle’s Doctrine of the Mean

Benjamin Visscher Hole IV


There are two conflicting interpretations of Aristotle’s doctrine of the mean. According to the first, the mean is a metaphorical, heuristic device for finding the right way to feel and act. According to the second, the mean is a quantity. I argue that the text underdetermines both accounts. I further argue that a metaphorical, heuristic account is preferable on the grounds that it is more charitable.


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University of Victoria