Date of Award


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Political Science, PhD


School of Social Science, Politics, and Evaluation

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Mark Blitz

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

James H. Nichols

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Christopher Nadon

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2020 Kyu-Been Chun


Action, Aristotle, Perception, Practical Reason, Reason

Subject Categories

Philosophy | Political Science


This study aims to clarify Aristotle’s practical reason and how his flexible but, nonetheless nonarbitrary ethical teaching works. By doing so, I hope to provide an alternative way of understanding practical reason in contradistinction to a modern view of practical reason and its assumptions about thinking through moral and political issues. In this dissertation, I argue that Aristotle’s discussion of practical reason shows that any attempts to formalize morality in the abstract are limited by the complexity of each particular situation, the variability in perception/cognition of the agent as well as a human longing that is inextricably linked to practical reasoning. While Aristotelian practical reasoning is not a rule-bound morality, it is neither simply relative for it is guided by the concern for the noble through the education of the citizens as well as by the natural longing towards human excellence and beauty. I also argue that practical reasoning in the political context is uniquely challenging because it must always presuppose the demands of justice. Lastly, I conclude with the limitations of practical reasoning and how philosophy is indispensable in not only sharpening practical reason but also transcending its limitations.