Also there is no room for deliberation about matters fully ascertained
and completely formulated as sciences; such for instance as orthography, for we have no
uncertainty as to how a word ought to be spelt. We deliberate about things in which our
agency operates, but does not always produce uniform results; for instance about questions
of medicine and of business; and we deliberate about navigation more than about athletic
training, because it has been less completely reduced to a science; and similarly with
other pursuits also. 3.
we deliberate more about the arts1
about the sciences, because we are more uncertain about them.3.
Deliberation then is employed in matters which, though subject to rules that generally
hold good, are uncertain in their issue; or where the issue is indeterminate,2
and where, when the matter is important, we take others
into our deliberations, distrusting our own capacity to decide.3.
And we deliberate not about ends, but about means. A doctor does not deliberate whether
he is to cure his patient, nor an orator whether he is to convince his audience, nor a
statesman whether he is to secure good government, nor does anyone else debate about the
end of his profession or calling; they take some end for granted, and consider how and by
what means it can be achieved. If they find that there are several means of achieving it,
they proceed to consider which of these will attain it most easily and best. If there is
only one means by which it can be accomplished, they ask how it is to be accomplished by
that means, and by what means that means can itself be achieved, until they reach the
first link in the chain of causes, which is the last in the order of discovery. （For when deliberating one seems in the procedure
described to be pursuing an investigation or analysis that resembles the analysis of a
figure in geometry3
indeed it appears that though not all
investigation is deliberation, for example, mathematical investigation is not, yet all
deliberation is investigation—and the last step in the analysis seems to be the
first step in the execution of the design.） 3.
Then, if they have come up against an impossibility,
they abandon the project—for instance, if it requires money and money cannot be
procured; but if on the other hand it proves to be something possible, they begin to act.
By possible, I mean able to be performed by our agency—things we do through the
agency of our friends counting in a sense as done by ourselves, since the origin of their
action is in us.3.
（In practising an art4
） the question is at one moment what tools to
use, and at another how to use them; and similarly in other spheres, we have to consider
sometimes what means to employ, and sometimes how exactly given means are to be
It appears therefore, as has been said, that a man is the origin of his actions, and that
the province of deliberation is to discover actions within one's own power to perform; and
all our actions aim at ends other than themselves. 3.
It follows that we do not deliberate about ends, but
about means. Nor yet do we deliberate about particular facts,