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This paper will be concerned with the antecedents of Aristotle's bipartite or moral psychology. It will consider two common theses: 1) Aristotle's bipartite psychology is in origin a popular psychology already present (if not clearly formulated) in Euripides' Medea; 2) Aristotle's bipartite psychology developed out of tripartition by collapsing together the two lower elements of tripartition. Roughly, I shall be affirming the first and rejecting the second thesis. In both cases I hope to develop and make more precise the origins of Aristotle's bipartite psychology.


William W. Fortenbaugh presented “On the Antecedents of Aristotle’s Bipartite Psychology” to the Society at its meeting with the American Philological Association in San Francisco in 1969. A revised version was published in Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 2.3 (autumn 1970) and reprinted in John P. Anton & Anthony Preus, eds.1983. Essays in Ancient Greek Philosophy, vol. 2. State University of New York Press, 303-320. f

For information on the author, see Wikipedia “William Wall Fortenbaugh” (in German)