In Book X of the Nichomachean Ethics, Aristotle offers several definitions of happiness (eudaimonia) which can exist at the level of physical pleasure, a life of civil involvement and practicing virtue, or the ultimate form of happiness which is the contemplation of God and spiritual and eternal matters. Just as there are degrees of pleasure and pain, so there are degrees or happiness and virtue. Happiness is the supreme good and the ultimate goal of life, but not all individuals define it in the same way and it appears that only a few truly reach the highest levels. Most people confuse happiness with physical pleasure and carnal gratification, including food, alcohol, sex, and accumulating money and material things, but Aristotle does not regard this as the supreme good. Far from it, although it probably seems satisfying enough for the great majority of humanity that happiness should be identified…… [Read More]
This could consist of platonic pleasure or erotic pleasure. Because this, like Utilitarian Friendships, is based on superficial foundations, it does not stand the test of time. The final way to Friendship is through a true "goodness of character." Aristotle believed that all human beings have a capacity for goodness of character; yet it takes practice and effort to reach a respectable level of moral integrity. Friendships based on good character represent a friendship where nothing is needed by any party; the two remain friends simply because love the Friendship itself.
Another conceit made by Aristotle in his Nichomachean Ethics is the concept that Friendship and Justice are intertwined. According to this theory, any political leader must engage in a friendship with his or her larger external community. Any politician wants the power of his or her office, which is only gained through a successful friendship with the people resulting…… [Read More]
The most convincing interpretation might be that, as she contended, she did not foresee the consequences. Parks stated that "it was not a time for me to be planning to get arrested." (Reader 2005). So, if she was not considering the consequences, then she was not thinking rationally; if she was not thinking rationally, according to Aristotle, then she was not behaving virtuously. Since we should probably use Parks' own words as the best evidence, we should conclude that Aristotle would not consider her a particularly virtuous individual.
Confucius, alternatively, maintained that all human morality was held together by a single concept: ren, or natural humanistic love. Simply put, ren is a love and respect for all things human. To Confucius, a person can only achieve ren if they undergo an attainment of knowledge to the point where they reach a workable grasp of the place for each form of…… [Read More]
Moal chaacte, that is, having couage, being pesistent, dismissing distactions and so on in pusuit of the goal.
These ae attempts to define ethics by descibing actions, and faily specific constellations of actions at that. Fedeich Paulson, a 19th centuy philosophe of ethics, defined ethics as a science of moal duty (1899).
Almost 100 yeas late, Swenson also used the concept of study in defining ethics, saying that it included the systematic study of concepts such as ight and wong. Othe eseaches note that the idea of systematic study is common in dictionay definitions of ethics, with the Ameican Heitage Dictionay focusing on thee elements: " the study of moal philosophy, the ules of a pofession (o moe boadly the chaacte of a community), and moal self-examination (Soukhanov, 1992).
Hill (2004) offes a 'definition' that is mainly pactical but also incopoates some theoetical content. They believe that ethical…… [Read More]
Ethics: "What Does It Mean to be an Ethical Person?"
Kant and Aristotle provide a moral framework for what it means to be a good person. They focus on the intentions of a person and how those intentions make all the difference in whether a person is acting morally or not. Since morality serves as the foundation for ethics, according to these philosophers, it stands to reason that ethical behavior is that which is intended to fulfill a moral purpose. Thus, in answer to the question, "What does it mean to be an ethical person?" this paper will show that a system of virtue ethics is the best response: honesty, integrity and compassion are the signs of an ethical person, and such a person will exhibit and display these qualities.
oth Kant and Aristotle take into consideration the intention of one's actions when they discuss the morality of behavior. For…… [Read More]
Additionally, some person in management determined that cutting costs in maintenance and not having a plan was acceptable risk. The company held that the event was unforeseeable, though the contingency of such an event could have likely been conceived as a potential disaster, and hence planned for. In this case, engineering ethics application would have determined at some point that the company had a duty to respect the rights of individuals and to behave in a manner upholding that duty (Fleddermann, 2008, p. 46).
In the Aberdeen Three, three civilian managers were prosecuted for violating the RCRA in allowing the unsafe storage of hazardous chemicals that posed a health risk to workers, civilians, and the natural environment. The managers claimed they were unaware of the companies storage practices. Yet in law, negligence is not an excuse for culpability, and the managers were given jail time and fines. The issue here…… [Read More]
In addition, we might ask ourselves if the richer nations have or not a greater responsibility as far as the research and development in the area of sustainable energy are concerned. (Reid, environmentalleader.com)
elieving that there are such energy sources or consumption policies which would allow the planet's resources to be maintained for a longer period, while making sure that all the nations are provided with a comfortable living is rather naive. Under these circumstances, it has been argued that doing the moral thing means choosing the least terrible solution. The problem is that this implies a relativistic evaluation of the matter which impacts the manner in which the moral principles are conceived.
efore stepping into a debate regarding the character of the moral principles, we may state that we agree with the opinions which state that there is no such thing as objective moral principles."Ethics can be seen as…… [Read More]
The different tastes in personal pleasure can be seen in the leisure industry as a whole. Some people seek out community service vacations, some seek adventure vacations, and other people simply want a nice, pretty beach and warm sun. All seek, I believe, to become better people, even if only simply through relaxation. My standards for happiness and my virtue ethics are less stringent than Aristotle's standards. So long as pleasure does not impinge upon the lives and productivity of native inhabitants, or the pleasures of others, varied quests in the pursuit of leisure are all honorable, from the vacationing volunteer in Dafur to the Disneyland tourist seeking to give memories to a child, and finding pleasure in the child's reactions to new sights and sounds.
Defense of Rule-Based Ethics." NYU Philosophy Homepage. Retrieved 29 May 2007 at: http://homepages.nyu.edu/~rpm213/philosophy.html
McLean, Donald & Yoder, Daniel. (2005). Issues in Recreation…… [Read More]
Mill believed that any act may itself be inherently moral, so long as the outcome of that action produces a benign effect. Mill believed that the most ethical act is that which produces the most good, even if the act itself is one which is traditionally considered evil. An example of utilitarian philosophy would include the killing of innocent animals to determine a cure for some infectious disease. And while there are components of this philosophy that would certainly align with Aristotle's definition of ethics, it seems difficult to picture the latter condoning any method to achieve moral behavior, particularly in regards to the following quotation from Nichomachean Ethics. "A man will not live like that by virtue of his humanness, but by virtue of some divine thing within him. His activity is as superior to the activity of the other virtues as this divine thing is to his composite…… [Read More]
He believed strongly in the government's protection of civil rights and equal opportunities for all its citizens. If a government failed to do so, he called for civil disobedience. King (1986) stated that freedom must be taken from the oppressors (p. 292). His concept of meaning was formulated in the crucible of unjust laws and centered on the notion of social justice. This meant attaining freedom, dignity, and social equality for all, not just for the privileged. His advocacy of non-violent protest aligned him with Socrates, as did his subversive speech. He felt strongly that it was every person's ethical duty to stand up peacefully but powerfully against all forms of oppression, and like Socrates he was willing to face death bravely for his cause. As opposed to Aristotle and close to Socrates, he affirmed that one must work to change the material conditions of life as well as social…… [Read More]
For some identify happiness with virtue, some with practical wisdom, others with a kind of philosophic wisdom, others with these, or one of these, accompanied by pleasure or not without pleasure; while others include also external prosperity." (Aristotle, I: 8) Aristotle uses this as a divining rod for dissecting the various relationships which are perpetuated amongst men. Here, Aristotle's practicality is of particular relevance, with his semantic explication of terms for the relationship between virtue and happiness offering a rather thorough template for human morality. This denotes that while we do not fully accept the idea offered by Kant that that which is right for one is right for all, we do accept some balance where perceptions of right and wrong may differ but where a clear relationship between happiness and goodness permeates motives and creates something of a universal standard.
This balance is underscored by Plato's consideration of the…… [Read More]
Medieval Political Thought
How did Augustine of Hippo's and Thomas Aquinas' views of the role of human free will in the process of salvation shape their different views of political theory?
For Augustine, there could be two cities -- the City of Man, which would essentially be a society without grace or goodness -- and the City of God, which would be a society that conformed to the will of God, participated with grace, and worked to perfect itself in accordance with the Commandments of God. One would be an imperfect society (the former) and the other would be a perfect society. Essentially, the City of Man is a system in which all endeavors are geared towards earthly happiness whereas in the City of God, endeavors are geared towards a spiritual happiness with God, enjoyed fully in the next life if one is good and dies in the state of…… [Read More]
Existentialism takes the human subject -- the holistic human, and the internal conditions as the basis and start of the conceptual way of explaining life. Taking idealism From Descartes, Kant, and Hegel, then building upon it, existentialist thinkers strip away the external and look at questions that surround human existence, and the conditions of that existence, rather than hypothesizing or dreaming of different forms of being. Thus, the inward philosophical emotions, angst, dread, self-doubt, self-esteem, etc. are experiences of the historical process, and the process of learning and moving through "existence" into a less fragile, more concrete, way of self-actualization. The existentialist concept of freedom is the manner in which internal values are set and interact with external historical trends. ather than humans being primarily rational, they make decisions when and if they find meaning (Solomon)
Existentialism asserts that people actually make decisions based solely on the meaning to them…… [Read More]
Aristotle and Happiness
hat is the point of life? Happiness? Virtue? Power? All of these? The ancient Greek philosophers would have pushed us gently in the direction of virtue, although they would also have argued that both happiness and power derive from virtue and so the quest for a fulfilled life does not have to be seen in terms of a trade-off between doing good and doing well. This paper examines the perspective that Aristotle brings to bear on the (for Greeks) twinned concepts of happiness and virtue.
Aristotle's contributions to modern philosophy are substantial: He along with Plato was one of the two greatest intellectuals of ancient Greece, a civilization that produced hundreds of important intellectuals. Perhaps more even than Plato, the other most important Greek philosopher, helped to guide the course of estern philosophy (as well as science) as well as in many ways Islamic thought. Through the…… [Read More]
If God Exists is Murder Immoral
To assert that murder is immoral because God exists is to connect a number of dots, albeit logically, that nonetheless requires discussion in order to be properly understood. As Immanuel Kant points out, God is viewed by people as having attributes which determine the order upon which one should base his own actions. In other words, “the concept of God” has a “function” that man should be aware of, as it informs his own critical thinking, behavior, and understanding of right and wrong (“Kant’s Philosophy of Religion”). Indeed, Kant “sought to locate the concept of God within a systematically ordered set of basic philosophical principles that account for the order and structure of world” (“Kant’s Philosophy of Religion”). Into this order and structure would fall questions such as, “Is murder immoral?” Kant’s system was not stagnant, however; it developed over time and evolved into…… [Read More]
Politics is a subject intrinsically linked to philosophy because the way men organize and conduct themselves socially and economically affects their ability and desire to use philosophy as a guiding principle. Aristotle and Hegel both shared strong views on the importance and use of the concept of "the state" as a tool to affect the safety and well-being of the individual man. Aristotle published two famous works that addressed politics directly. Nichomachean Ethics and Politics were originally two parts of the same work, but were eventually separated. In these works, Aristotle argues that "the true purpose of government is to enable its citizens to live the full and happy life discussed in his ethics" (Magee 39). Because man is, in his famous words, "a political animal," man needs political and social organization to attain the goal of happiness. Isolation might, according to Aristotle, breed selfishness and excess and violate his…… [Read More]
In Book I of Plato's epublic, Thrasymachus, Glaucon, and Adeimantus provide intellectual foils for Socrates's ethical philosophy. Socrates responds to Thrasymachus's stance, which is essentially that, "the life of an unjust person is better than that of a just one," (p 88; 347e). Thrasymachus goes so far as to state that justice is "noble naivete," and therefore not worth pursuing at all (348c). Glaucon immediately takes the side of Thrasymachus, by stating that the life of an unjust person is "more profitable," at the very least, than the just life (p. 88, 347e). Agreeing with Glaucon's doctrine of self-interest, Adeimantus offers his two bits in Book II of The epublic. Glaucon's brand of justice is that good reputation is the most important thing. A person does not want to be just if those just acts go unnoticed or unrecognized. More importantly, Adeimantus states that a person would be better…… [Read More]
The rulers correspond with the mind/soul- just as the mind directs the body in the individual, the rulers direct the body of the state (i.e. The guardians and workers.)
Part Two: Aristotle on Pride
Aristotle claims that pride is not a vice, but a major moral virtue. He opens his argument by saying that the word pride itself implies gratness, and therefore a proud man is one who considers hiomself-worthy of great things- in contrast to a moderate man who is worth little and considers himself worthy of like amount, or the foolish man, who thinks himself more worthy than he actually is. Aristotle also distinguishes the humble man, as the one who does not consider himself worthy of his own good fortunes. The point is that the proud man claims what he deserves, and nothing more, whereas other sorts claim either more or less than is to their credit.…… [Read More]
The individual, who considered his action to be voluntary, because of slight negligence of social responsibility, and ignorance, now under goes trail in the state court. The individual is being accused for that entire he was much unaware about, and rather it would be right to say that he is being charged for his ignorance. is self-thought voluntary move is now considered terrorist support.
There was a local reported incident in the past where individual was forced to commit a crime only because he was being pressurized or forced to do so. It was reported within my neighborhood that the reputed banker was forced by his boss to indulge in the malpractice, and commit an intentional folly of manipulation of accounts. The banker was being blackmail by his boss; the boss was creating hindrance for his subordinate, and kept continuously delaying the release of employee-loan. The employee had no option…… [Read More]
A try to help my Little Brother find positive voluntary associations. I encourage him to volunteer at his local church, and to seek afterschool enrichment programs and tutoring. But this is not always easy. He often says that he feels that people do not care -- his teachers, his parents, and even his friends who try to uphold a 'straight and narrow' path. He also says that he wants to feel as if he is accepted by other people, and sometimes his drive to feel accepted right now is more powerful than pursuing long-range goals and the promise getting into college, of 'making it' in a larger American social context. I try to provide a positive role model for him, but it can be difficult to describe to him that sometimes you need to get through the present to move into the future, when many of the images of the…… [Read More]
If everybody is 'doing it,' people seem more likely to participate. Rather than iconoclasm, volunteering seems to be motivated, more than we as Americans might like to admit it, by a spirit of conformity or at least to be seen as not deviating from the moral norm. Sometimes, the more that we are watched, socially, the better we behave (of course, the reverse is sometimes true as well, if everyone is behaving badly, then we are more likely to go on with the crowd, given that we are human, social animals).
Over the course of this week, I have gotten to know the people who regularly worked at the blood bank better. This week offered me more insight upon the spirit of altruism, given the careers these healthcare providers had selected. Many of them said that they had been motivated to choose a career in healthcare, because they…… [Read More]