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Lecture 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8

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University of Ottawa
Mark Brown

July 16 Philosophy Aristotlemarried couple story making donationsare these actions morally good and whythey are not attached to profit so they dont mind giving money awaytreating others as they want to be treatedmaybe they feel bad so they give to others to alleviate stressthis is a regular thing how different from PlatoRaphaels fresco the school of Athens features both aristotle and platoplato on the left aristotle on the right plato is pointing up towards sky while aristotle points in frontplatos point upwards refers to his vision of the world of forms while aristotles forward reach represents that his concern is with the present world the world of the here and nowcrucial differencearistotle was a student of platos at the academy of Athens plato mentored him aristotle eventually founded own school and was a tutor to Alexander the GreatNicomachiean Ethicsnicomachieaus was aristotles father and sons name in this workquoterefers to plato and the fact that he must part ways with platos vision of the other realm the world of formsso he parts ways doesnt agree that the world of forms exists annabel lyon author the golden meanis a fictional account of aristotle tutoring alexander the great in it they discusse platomain criticism is that platos theory of forms cannot account for changechangebecoming is very important to aristotlearistotle is concerned with the science of biologyone of first biologiststhis includes empirical observation that relates to the concrete experience of the here and nowempirical observationaristotle observes nature and notes that it is in a constant flux of growth decay and becomingfor aristotle what is of interest is the dynamic realm of becoming in the world as opposed to the static realm of the world of forms that plato presents for plato forms are static and eternal and therefore dont changearistotlehow can a static world where change does not occur explain this world which is observed to be in a constant state of flux and in a constant state of becomingshows timelapse video is there a form for fall well fall is a process which moves toward winter etcchange becomingessential component of the reality of the worldthe world of forms cannot account for thiseverything is in a process of change and this process of change involves striving towards a specific end claim telos everything has a definitive purpose or function that something must fulfill it is a goal that something strives towards teleology derives from the greek word telos which means that everything has a function that must be fulfilled everything has a purpose related to teleology are the biological notions of potentiality and actualitywould say that an acorn has the potential to become an oak tree and it realizes its potential as it changes and strives to become and actual oak treeacorn becoming oak treethe acorn is striving to become an oak treeonce becoming the tree it fulfills its telos its purposeethicsaristotle asks what is the telos of humanity what is the function or goal that humans strive to fulfillevery art inquiry action and pursuit is thought to aim at some goodthe good has rightfully been declared huheverything is aiming to fulfill its purposehuman action aims at some endthe goodwhat exactly is the good for humansaristotle answersthe good relates to happiness even though the general consensus from lower society to higher society is that happiness is the desirable goal of life he notes there isnt a consensus of what happiness meanshappiness is not equal to sheer pleasurenot a hedonistrather happiness relates to the greek word eudaimoniaeudaimoniablessed by the gods to have a good destiny to live an admirable lifeeudaimoniacan be understood as having a good life rather than feeling any particular way textbook definitioneudaimoniacan also be understood as flourishingsuggests analogy between the flourishing of plants and trees with the flourishing of human beingsflourishing to have a good life just as acorn flourishes to become an oak treewe all want eudaimonia because we all want our lives to go wellhe would say we all want to have good reputationsgood reputationswe have lead a successful lifewe have fulfilled our telos or our functioneudaimoniaalways pursued as an end never as a means to an end good and happy life the life ofeudaimonia relates to a complete lifefor one swallow make summerone day does nothappy quote life is full of ups and downs happiness is a process and we can only recognize its completion of this process when we are on our deathbed only at this time can we look back and say I had a happy life I have fulfilled my telosvirtue ethicsif someone is virtuous that person is a good person good traits or characteristics such as loyalty honestyaristotle has a list of virtues courage temperancemoderation justice pride magnanimityopposite of virtue is vice greek word for virtue is arete which can be understood as human excellence or excellence of character just as acorn has the potential to become an oak tree so too do humans have the potential to actualize into virtuous individuals movement from the potential to the actual relates to the telos of humanityhumans have a specific purpose in life that they strive towardsvirtuous humans will fulfill human function in an admirable wayvirtuous individuals have a good reputationon the otherhand aristotle also says that one can lead a poor life full of vicenot fulfilling your function as a human beinghow to become virtuous humans differentiate from plantsanimals because humans are rational animalsas humans we have a rational principlethis rational principle suggests that humans are different from animals because they can reason do math
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