Abstract for “Aristotle’s Psychology” – Elena Fiecconi

In this paper, my focus is on Aristotle’s account of the connection between desires and evaluative cognition, i.e. perceptual or intellectual grasp of evaluatively charged features like pleasantness, or goodness. I argue that perceptual evaluative cognition is intrinsically desiderative. Intellectual and “phantastic” evaluative cognition, however, are not, and they only cause desires when they are not produced by the thinker or perceiver at will. If my account is right, it sheds light on Aristotle’s views on cognitive conflict, deliberation and the limits of rational control we can exercise on our desires.