This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This inquiry naturally leads to a classification of the sources or causes of human action, which are found to fall under seven heads; some of these have their origin in ourselves and are under our own control, others are external to us and independent of us, and exercise upon us and our actions the force of necessity and compulsion. To the causes whose origin is without us belong (1) chance or accident, (2) nature, and (3) ex-ternal force or compulsion; over these we have no control: the causes which spring from within us, and are therefore more or less in our power to master and overrule, are (4) habit, (5) reasoning or calculation, (6) passion, (7) appetite or desire. These seven incentives to action have been carefully examined, and compared with other doctrines and opinions elsewhere expressed by Aristotle on the same subjects, in Append. C to Bk. I, Introd. p. 218 seq., to which I refer for further illustration of them. This same classification of the causes or sources of actions is indicated or alluded to elsewhere, but nowhere else so completely made out. See, for instance, Eth. Nic. III 5, 1112 a 32, αἴτια γὰρ δοκοῦσιν εἶναι φύσις καὶ ἀνάγκη καὶ τύχη, ἔτι δὲ νοῦς καὶ πᾶν τὸ δἰ ἀνθρώπου, and VI 4, in the definition of art, 1140 a 14, οὔτε γὰρ τῶν ἐξ ἀνάγκης ὄντων ἢ γιγνόμενων ἡ τέχνη ἐστίν, οὔτε τῶν κατὰ φύσιν: ἐν αὑτοῖς γὰρ ἔχουσι ταῦτα τὴν ἀρχήν. And in I 10, 1099 b 20 seq. the same division is hinted at.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.