Philosophy of Deliberation

Philosophy of Deliberation by Aristotle 340 B.C

Do we deliberate everything and is everything a possible subject of deliberation. Or is deliberation impossible about some things ? About Eternal things no one deliberates eg about the material universe or the shape of a circle .But no more do we deliberate about the things that involve movement but always happen in the same way , whether of necessity or by nature or from any other cause eg sun coming up from east , nor about things that happen now in one way , now in another eg drought , rain  and nor about chance events like a plane crashing . The Reason – None of these things can be brought about by our own efforts.

We deliberate about things that are in our power and can be done and these are in fact what is left. It is often seen that we deliberate about arts , politics , business , relationships rather than science for we have more doubts about the former. Deliberation is concerned with things that happen in a certain way for the most part but in which the event is obscure and with things in which it is indeterminate. We call in others to aid us in deliberation on important questions , distrusting ourselves as not being equal to deciding impartially.

We deliberate not about the ends but the means. For a doctor does not deliberate whether he should heal nor does a general whether he should be ready to fight and win war .They assume the end and consider how  and by what means it to be attained and if it seems to be produced by several means they consider by which it is most easily and best produced , while if it is achieved by one only they consider how it will be achieved by this and by what means this will be achieved .If we come to an impossibility we give up the search but if a thing appears possible we try to do it. Possible are those things that we can do with our own or along with our friends efforts since the moving principle is in ourselves. Since all deliberation is essentially an investigation thus we basically try to analyze it’s instruments -sometimes the use of them , sometimes the means ,sometimes the mode of using it  or means of bringing it about. Thus the end cannot be the subject of deliberation but only the means .

Everyone ceases to inquire how he is to act when he has brought the moving principle back to himself and to the ruling part of him ( head or heart ) for this is what chooses.  The object of choice being one of the things in our own power which is desired after deliberation ,once we have decided as a result of deliberation ,we desire in accordance with our deliberation. If we are to be always deliberating , we shall have to go on to infinity.

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