Values and Society – Lecture 4
Aristotle believes there are two kinds of good.
1) Instrumental goods: there are goods that are valued only for the sake of something else.
Examples of this are: exercise, money, bitter medicine, etc.
2) Intrinsic goods: there are goods that are desired for their own sake. Example: happiness.
Aristotle believes happiness is the only intrinsic good and that the majority of instrumental goods lead
to happiness. In Greek philosophy the term happiness did not mean a good feeling or cheerfulness. It
meant excellence. Aristotle believed the function of humans is to live in accordance with the virtues. A
virtue is a state of character that causes us to act in specific ways on specific occasions. Examples of
virtues are: courage, modesty, liberality, pride, kindness, and justice.
Two Key Elements of the Human Function
1) It is not some descriptive fact about us, but rather the way we ought to live.
2) The way