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PHL275H1 Lecture Notes - Eudaimonia, Practical Reason

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Ethics Lecture
September 26, 2011
Virtue Ethics
Ethics derived from metaphysics
He thinks that the function of humans is to be happy; to be the
best happiest people we can be
Instrumental goods are goods that are good for something else;
External instrumental goods: goods you don’t have any control
over such as good birth [what kind of family you are born into],
Eudaimonia: happiness but not in the ‘party’ sense, but
happiness in the sense of complete thriving of being the best
person you can be and being complete and having everything
you need
Even if we could know about the form of the good, what would
that tell us about how to be human?
He thinks that goods are not always good for everyone
Virtue of character: majority of virtues; things like bravery and
Virtues of thought: practical reason and prudence
Virtue is a state and not an individual action; you cannot choose
to be virtuous at any moment such as being nice to a homeless
man on the way to class
Virtue is ongoing and you really have to make it into your
character; certain mental and emotional habits so that virtue
kind of rolls off your tongue
The most good things were not empirically sensible such as the
Form of the good: non material things. This is the biggest form
[type-token metaphysics]
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