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Aristotle On Action: The Seven Reasons People Do Things (and Why It’s Important to Know What They Are)


Martin Cothran


What do Ariel Castro, Tiger Woods, and Arnold Schwarzenegger have in common? They all, without knowing it, employed a key Aristotelian distinction between different kinds of human action in order to try to shift responsibility. In his book Rhetoric, Aristotle divided human action according to its causes. He discovered seven. Knowing what they are will help you make sense out of why people do what they do and say what they say.