Deliberative Excellence is one form of deliberation, and deliberating implies
investigating and calculating. But deliberation is not the same as investigation: it is
the investigation of a particular subject.1
Nor yet is it skill in Conjecture: for this operates without conscious calculation, and
rapidly, whereas deliberating takes a long time, and there is a proverb that execution
should be swift but deliberation slow.
Deliberative Excellence is not the same as Quickness of mind,2
which is a form of skill in Conjecture.
Nor yet is Deliberative Excellence any form of Opinion.
But inasmuch as a bad deliberator makes mistakes and a good deliberator deliberates
it is clear that Deliberative Excellence is some form of
correctness; though it is not correctness of Knowledge, nor of Opinion. Correctness cannot
be predicated of Knowledge,4
any more than can error, and correctness of Opinion is truth;
and also any matter about which one has an opinion has been settled already;
[then again Deliberative Excellence necessarily involves conscious calculation.
It remains therefore that Deliberative Excellence is correctness in thinking, for thought
has not reached the stage of affirmation;]5
for Opinion has passed beyond the stage of investigation and is a form of
affirmation, whereas a man deliberating, whether he deliberates well or badly, is
investigating and calculating something.
But Deliberative Excellence is a form of correctness in deliberation [so that we
have first to investigate what deliberation is, and what object it deals
‘correctness’ in this connection is ambiguous, and plainly it is not
every kind of correctness in deliberation that constitutes Deliberative Excellence. A man
of deficient self-restraint or a bad man may as a result of calculation arrive at the
object he proposes as the right thing to do, so that he will have deliberated correctly,