Aristotle recognizes that humans are essentially rational, which further highlights his theory that our final cause or purpose is to be rational. We must base our actions, as much as possible, on logic and reasoning. Our greatest capacity as humans is our intelligence and in following our internal compass is to develop this capacity. If we do this, we develop it not only in matter of science, but in practical life as well. Therefore, to act ethically is to engage our capacity to reason as we develop good
Aristotle’s account of morality and his concepts of moral virtue arise from his understanding of human nature. He noticed that every action of man has some end in view, and these ends seem to be an endless chain. For this reason, he he asked “what is the highest good?” for humans. He concludes that happiness is the highest good, and the ultimate purpose for human life, and is the only goal to pursue in itself.
In short knowing and doing are in the same line. In knowing the truth your virtues will ultimately be guided by this knowledge. The “telos” or ultimate goal of human life for Aristotle is to attain “happiness”. “Happiness” here is does not mean the common meaning which we use everyday but it is more synonymous to the war “eudaimonia” which means to be in a state of being that is in good spirit. This emphasis that happiness is not just a temporary thing but a permanent outlook on life which means that they only way for us to truly know whether we have had a happy life is when we die.
Methods of Rationalism by Plato and Descartes Philosophy has had an impact on mankind for thousands of years. This topic attempts to answer questions about the everyday world, and how things are the way they are. In Philosophy, there are many different topics that are discussed. These topics include Epistemology, Ontology, Ethics, Political and Social Philosophy, Aesthetics, Logic, and more. The topic that will be discussed in this paper is Epistemology, or the study of knowledge.
Blum referred to one’s psychological make-up as a factor for one’s moral excellence. She claims that one cannot simply acquire virtuous moral qualities by merely trying. The reason why I think Blum would encourage people to aim to become like moral exemplars is because one of the chapters she wrote she presented the concept of an idealist. Though we may not all become these moral exemplars, we can still adopted certain ideals. “While we cannot all be moral exemplars, what we all can be is better than we are.”
He suggests that education allows us to be good judges. Thus, education provides humans with the opportunity to be if not happy at least content in their decisions. Also, Aristotle argues that it is the nature of man to have different perspectives on the nature of happiness. Aristotle states some of the elements that are mistaken for happiness but are not attributable to the nature of happiness such as wealth.
In Plato’s Republic, Socrates utilizes logical dialogue with his fellow Athenians to uncover the timeless and elusive ideal of justice. The dilemma begins to surface in book II through Glaucon’s challenging that justice is not inherently, but rather consequentially good. Socrates argues that justice is among the highest of virtues that are both consequentially and intrinsically good, individually defining it as the harmony of the tripartite soul: the balance between reason, appetite, and spirit (132). Upon further investigation, however, Socrates’ assertion not only fails to refute Glaucon’s argument for people’s reluctance toward justice, but he is also unsuccessful in outlining the innate worth behind the ideal. Nonetheless, Socrates’ endeavor
Within the second book of Aristotle’s “Nicomachean Ethics”, he expands upon the ultimate human good of happiness, and interprets virtues of character in order to clarify his connection between the two. Although virtuous activity is differentiated into irrational and rational desires, a combination of both is important for one’s soul (Aristotle). Furthermore, an excessive or deficient amount of any activity is capable of corrupting one’s virtue of character, but can be counteracted by properly habituating these extremities to intermediary levels (Aristotle). However, distinguishing between too much and too little effort can be complicated and that is why humans rely on feelings in order to interpret their progress in life. Aristotle interprets
“Every skill and every inquiry, and similarly every action and rational choice, is thought to aim at some good; and so the good has been aptly described as that which everything aims. But it is clear that there is some difference between ends: some ends are activities, while others are products which are additional to the activities. In cases where there are ends additional to the actions, the products are by their nature better than activities.” (Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics, as translated by Crisp, 2000, p. #3) Aristotle was the first philosopher who wrote a book on ethics titled, Nichomachean Ethics.
He goes on to explain that to define what true happiness is, we must first understand what function we have as humans. This in-depth analysis of happiness at its roots solidifies my belief that ethical reflection requires you to also question what purpose any given concept of morality has to