Perception, Phantasia, Thought, and Desire
Aristotle holds that we desire things because they appear good to us. But what is it for something to appear good? Why does pleasure tend to appear good, as Aristotle holds? And how do appearances of goodness motivate desire and action? Jessica Moss argues that the notion of the apparent good is crucial to understanding both Aristotle's psychological theory and his ethics, and the relation between them. She argues that on Aristotle's view things appear good to us
in virtue of a psychological capacity responsible for quasi-perceptual phenomena like dreams and visualization: phantasia ('imagination'). Once we realize this, we can gain new insight into some of the
most debated areas of his philosophy. Moss presents a new--and controversial--interpretation of Aristotle's moral psychology: one which greatly restricts the role of reason in ethical matters, and gives an absolutely central role to pleasure.