While reading Book III of Aristotle’s Ethics, Aristotle attempts to define what decision truly is. He says “For it is our decisions to do what is good or bad, not our beliefs, that make the characters we have” (381). Aristotle then goes on to say “We decide on something <even> when we know most completely that it is good; but <what> we believe <is> what we do not quite know” (381). To define decision, Aristotle contrasts it with belief.
Aristotle thinks that a decision is either good or bad and create our character; however, a belief is either true or false. When one makes a decision and are praised for it when they make the right, or good, decision. On the other hand, a belief is praised for believing rightly. Aristotle sums up his definition of decision by saying it involves reason and thought. In order to make the best decision one must think and deliberate.
This passage stuck out to me because I believe this is an important definition to understand. By writing this response I understand the definition Aristotle provided more clearly. I agree that a decision involves reason and thought. However, I get the sense that Aristotle holds decisions above beliefs, which I do not agree with. Aristotle states that decisions build our characters. I believe that the beliefs we hold are just as integral to our character as the decisions we make.