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Philosophy 2-19.docx

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHIL 1070
Professor
Robert Mc Gill
Semester
Spring

Description
Philosophy 02/19/2014 Aristotle’s Ethics Background: ­ Socrates (469­399 BC) ­ Plato (428­347 BC) ­ Aristotle (385­322 BC) Nichomachean Ethics So named because it was edited by his son Nichomacus Begin with discussion of eudaimonia = happiness, flourishing Turn to examination of the nature of arête = virtue, excellence What character traits do human beings need in order to live life at its best? Aristotle does not propose a MORAL RULE: We can’t codify virtue in a system of action­guiding rules Circumstances of life are too complex and variable Rather, analyze the notion of a good or virtuous character A person of good character will respond and act correctly  thics is   practica l iscipline (n  theoretical    We don’t ask about the nature of the good simply because we want to have knowledge. We study ethics in order to improve our lives. Principal concern is the nature of human well­being. The virtues are central to a well­lived life. Question: What is “The Good”? We can list many good things, but what is theHIGHEST GOOD ? Three Requirements: ­ Finality: It is desirable for itself; an ultimate goal; never a means to some other good ­ Self Sufficiency: Once one has it, one will no desire anything else; by itself, it makes life desirable ­ Maximum Desirability: Nothing else could be added to it to make it more desirable Question: What satisfies these requirements? Answer: Eudaimonia (Happiness, or Living Well) Why? No one t
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