WHAT DOES BEING AN “ARISTOTELIAN” REALLY MEAN?
The present paper presents two main arguments: 1) The meanings of
terms like “(neo-) Aristotelian” or “Aristotelianism” have become extremely
ambiguous in the present literature of ethics and political philosophy. These terms
have even become confusing rather than being descriptive or explanatory. The
following questions seem to have no proper answers: Who is actually
“Aristotelian,” or “neo-Aristotelian,” to what extent and for what reasons? What
does “(neo-) Aristotelian” really mean? 2) In order to give some clues to properly
answer these questions, as its second argument, the present paper attempts to
define the essential methodological characteristics of Aristotelian ethical/political
exploration. To be called as an “Aristotelian,” a research should start from the
methodological peculiarities of Aristotle’s practical philosophy that make a
research “Aristotelian” rather than “Kantian” or “Hegelian.” In the second part of
the paper, these peculiarities are defined as methodological prudence and medical
dialectics, which are characteristic aspects of Aristotelian way of inquiry regarding
ethics and political philosophy.