Aristotle, Happiness and Pleasure Was Moderation and Essay

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Aristotle, happiness and pleasure was moderation and a middle action between two vices. . So, for example, modesty would be a virtue as it comes between two extremes or vices; egotism and low self-esteem. Another example would be working sensibly. The two vices of working would be overworking and laziness. The middle option would be working sensibly. This, according to Aristotle, is the correct choice of action. He said we should act in the right way, at the right time, in the right amount towards the right persons for the correct reasons:"...To experience these emotions [fear, courage, desire, anger, pity, and pleasure] at the right times and on the right occasions and toward the right persons and for the right causes and in the right manner is the mean or the supreme good, which is characteristic of virtue" (Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, II). Happiness, then, comes not at the end of the journey or activity, but along the path. Instead of this being utilitarian as in the greatest good for the greatest number, it is more deontological, or the means toward the goal are more important than the goal, and if those means are moral, then there is positive good (happiness) for the individual or participant.

Part 2 -- Aristotle would find communism unjust and impractical as an economic or social institution for people. He did believe that there is always difficulty in people living together and having common property. However, for property to be viable for the individual, it must be private so that everyone has a specific interest. In this way, individuals are happier, more likely to be productive, and can make progress (actualize) because all individuals are then working towards their own good. Because individuals are unique, one cannot expect them to act completely in accordance 100% of the time. Instead, because of this uniqueness, different gifts of individuals (the carpenter, the physician, the fisherman) are able to be expressed in two ways -- for the individual good and profit so the activity can continue and for the common good to serve society. Without private ownership, though, there would be no incentive for most to excel and actualize.

Part 3 - If we have two propositions, P1. Murder is Wrong and P2 The three inner angels of a triangle are equal to two right angels, and we are using Kant's theory of morality as a basis for argument, we then find that if P2 is true as a basis for moral thought, then P1 must also be true. For Kant, morality is based on the Categorical Imperative, or that hypothetical imperatives apply to dependent upon the means to an end, while Categorical imperatives denote an absolute and unconditional requirement that if something is true, it must be true in formulation and in all cases. Thus, if P2 is correct and P1 is also correct and must be universal law.

Part 4 - Throughout his works, Nietzsche seems to believe that we must assess the intrinsic value of our individual values since these same values are relative to both our own goals and ourselves. Emphasizing this need to analyze our moral values and the impact they have on our actions, the real problem with morality is that there is a sliding scale on who defines good (the rich or powerful) and the bad (those who do not fit the societal norm). This relativism shows a concept that there is no absolute truth or validity, the universe holding only subjective values according to differences in perception and consideration. The ideas of Plato are, to Nietzsche, a version of a slave morality that is expressed in modern times as Christianity, or for Nietzsche, "Platonism for the people." This is a moral philosophy that holds the good to be the highest point humans can attain which is usually expressed through a hierarchy of being -- the master's and the ruled. Plato did believe in a hierarchy, the enlightened, and did see that there were classes of rulers and those who needed to be ruled -- not necessarily in a negative light, but in a way that individuals were suited. For Nietzsche, each individual had both the power and potential to actualize themselves.

Part 5- In general, Kant's ethical stance is deontological in premise. That the morality of an action is based on the thought and means to that action. For the maxim, "Virtue pursued with intent deserves no reward; evil committed without intent merits no punishment." This seems to be saying that for Kant, there is a duty to preserve one's own life, not as a duty, but as a non-moral good. This is an imperative that means that the preservation of the individual will preserve society because of the gifts that each individual gives to society. Kant says that securing this happiness is a least a duty and as moral beings, we are required to move to the moral path. It is almost as if he is saying that the individual has a duty towards all of society to evolve and actualize because that is what will, eventually, improve both the individual and society. Therefore, if one sacrifices oneself for…

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