Unc Frank loved his family and was a great man of the community. He loved his car and women, but most of all he loved making everyone around him feel good. When he died it hurt a lot of people, not just his family. Thank you, Unc, for always believing in me and dropping those O.G. jewels on me.
Utilitarianism can be further broken down into two distinct branches: act-utilitarianism and rule-utilitarianism. Act-Utilitarianism, also known as classic utilitarianism, holds that we ought to do the act with the best consequences in terms of the most people. For classic utilitarians, the value that is to be maximized is pleasure-that is what has intrinsic value. On the other hand, pain is dis-valued and is considered a basic bad. The greatest happiness principle says that actions are right in proportion that they tend to promote happiness; wrong as they tend to produce the opposite of happiness.
Some objections to normative Hedonism a. On the hedonist account the only intrinsic thing of worth is pleasure and pain. All else, friendships, character, achievements, virtues are of instrumental value-they are a means to an end, either to increasing the pleasure they cause or diminishing the pain. The oponents of hedonism say that there are things beside pleasure which contribute to well being. Values such as love, friendship, generosity, virtue, achievement are taken by non hedonists to have value of their own, they are in themselves valuable.
That is why Aristotle says that the happy man wants for nothing.” (Adler, p. 4). In other words, Aristotle would define happiness as the state that the life of a person has reached its completeness, which means nothing that the nature of the man desires is lacking and all that the man pursued throughout his life is fulfilled. For Epicurus, however, the definition of happiness is different. As defined by Epicurus himself, for an Epicurean to define himself happy, the fundamental requirement can be being free from pain and fear, thus the life needs to be full of pleasure. When pleasure is overwhelming, there is no more room to ask for more pleasure, thus, it is the ultimate state of happiness.
In Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, the concept of happiness is introduced as the ultimate good one can achieve in life as well as the ultimate goal of human existence. As Aristotle goes on to further define happiness, one can see that his concept is much different from the 21st-century view. Aristotelian happiness can be achieved through choosing to live the contemplative life, which would naturally encompass moralistic virtue. This differs significantly from the modern view of happiness, which is heavily reliant on material goods. To a person in the 21st-century, happiness is simply an emotional byproduct one experiences as a result of acquiring material goods.
“You’d have liked him… He was terrifically intelligent… But it wasn’t just that he was the most intelligent member of the family. He was also the nicest”. Holden loved his brother more than anything and when he died, he punched out all the windows in the garage. He said that "my hand still hurts me once in a while." This is symbolic of the love he had and still has for his little brother; he even quotes later that "you don 't stop loving someone because they die" proving that he still cares for him.
Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics begins by exploring ‘the good’. Book I argues that, unlike other goods, “happiness appears to be something complete and self-sufficient, and is, therefore, the end of actions” (10:1097b20-21). In other words, happiness is the ultimate good. But how does one achieve happiness? Aristotle formulates this in the context of work, since for all things, from artists to horses, “the good and the doing it well seem to be in the work” (10:1097b27-28).
For Levinas, however, the ‘good’ is infinite in a sense that it is not concerned in what is common among all things, but what is entirely unique about each person or thing. In other words, it is based on singularity of things and the absolute uniqueness of objects. For Plato the ‘good’ is neither stable nor material as well, but the means of acquiring it are different. In Plato’s understanding the higher good could be achieved through moral virtue that a person himself has to acquire. This ‘good’ is represented first and foremost by the moral virtue, which in its turn is presented through individual’s desire, action and goal and not by the uniqueness of the Face of Other.
He describes sympathy as the most innate human feeling, one even “the greatest ruffian, the most hardened violator of the laws of society” is not without. Every human being naturally cares for others’ happiness. This may seem counterintuitive, as one may expect humans to be self-serving, only caring for others’ happiness if it benefits them personally. However, Smith counters that “how selfish soever man may be supposed”, he still renders others’ happiness necessary, even though “he derives nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it”. Smith continues, sparing no detail, to explain the source this feeling, its function, and the variables influencing the degree to which one sympathizes.
Aristotle defined a virtue as a good habit formed by rationally shaping one’s desires in order to reach a mean between overreaction and under reaction (Prof. Skerker). Virtues are only acquired through the habituation of doing the right things voluntarily. Aristotle also believed that a person doing the right thing and reaching the mean of a virtue should be brought pleasure by their actions. In a class discussion we defined character as the sum of all of our virtues, combined with how we use those virtues to influence our decisions and actions. The virtues I found most applicable in this case study are: integrity, humility, and loyalty.