Chapter 3: Alertness: an Aristotelian approach
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Alertness is the central concept of Kirzner's theory of the entrepreneurial function in human action. Yet, as central as it is to Kirzner's theory, alertness has not always been well understood. We define alertness as a human propensity to transcend the current framework of means and ends. We establish three functions to alertness: (a) identification of new ends and means, (b) endogenization of the market process and the concatenation of market events, and (c) the enabling of new information necessary for individuals' plans to be carried out. We also use hylomorphism - Aristotle's theory of the immaterial soul and intellect - to explore the nature and source of alertness. Alertness can be understood as a potentiality of the human intellect to recognize or define new causal forms of objects (present or future gains from trade) that didn't possess them in the first place. Alertness is what permits the human intellect to know that (i.e., opportunities for profit) which it was in potentiality.

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