Philosophy of the Person I
1. Definition of eudaimonia (happiness, human fulfillment, human flourishing)
Eudaimonia is an activity of the soul in accordance with excellence of the most perfect
virtue. It is the highest human good over a complete life with sufficient, external good. It is not
2. Definition of moral virtue (character virtue, excellence of character)
Moral virtue is a disposition to behave in the right manner and a mean between extremes of
deficiency and excess. We learn it through habit and practice rather than through reasoning and
3. Aristotle’s vision of the human soul
There are two parts of the soul: rational and irrational. The rational soul consists of
theoretical reason and practical reason. Theoretical reason is a person’s ability to KNOW rules and
obligations, while the practical reason is a person’s ability to actually DO them. The irrational soul
consists of the vegetative part and the appetitive part. The vegetative part is “plant-like” in that it
sustains life with nutrition and growth, while the appetitive part is “animal-like” in that it provides
physicality and movement.Aristotle believes virtue can only be present when practice reason
overlaps with the appetitive part of the soul.
4. Types of action
A. Voluntary internal, within our control
B. Involuntary external, outside our control
-Ignorance of universals: common-known rules (don’t hurt others, road laws, Kosher, etc.)
-Ignorance of particulars: recognition of situation after the fact
• WITH regret vs. WITHOUT regret
C. Mixed from BOTH internal and external forces
5. Genesis of an action
A. Ethos based on character
B. Boulesis based on want or wish
C. Bouleusis based on deliberation/planning
D. Proairesis based on choice of action
E. Praxis based on action
6. Virtues of the rational part of the soul and virtues of character
Rational Part reason/knowledge
Theoretical abstract knowledge
Practical knowing what to do in a situation
Productive how to do certain things
7. Stages of moral development
o Pleasure over Pain Initial animal condition where we are dominated by inclination to
pleasure and aversion from pain. The stage occurs when we are children and live by the
appetitive part of our soul and we act similar to animals.
o Reward vs. punishment We become conditioned by others through rewards and
punishments. This is like our parents raising us to take pleasure and pain in proper things.
o Responsibility The emergence of reason and the possibility of self-conditioning. We are
able to self-condition ourselves, which forms habits and character. We do things because
they are good in themselves and not because of punishment or reward. o Virtuous person Comes out automatically because we know what to do and enjoy it. Both
virtue and vice are permanent.
8. Distinction of justice
Aristotle makes two distinctions of justice, the first being justice in general, and the second
being justice in particular. Justice in general, as opposed to injustice, incorporates conformity to
the law. Justice in particular includes justice of distribution, which is based on proportional
equality, and justice of correction which is based on exact mathematically equality.
9. Definition of bravery (courage)
Bravery is defined as having courage in matters of fear and confidence, and being
courageous for the right reasons. For example acting brave for honors or fear of punishment is not
bravery. When you have perfect knowledge and spirit to do an action for good reason is the key to
10. Definition of temperance
Temperance is defined as the right amount of pleasure and pain in feelings and emotions.
11. Definition of prudence (practical wisdom). Include also some states that are contrary to
the virtue of prudence, and some states allied with prudence.
Prudence = a state of grasping the truth, concerning both good and bad; includes reasoning
Things that resemble prudence: (lack action)
A. Good deliberation ability to decide what is good or bad
B. Judgments ability to know/understand others
C. Comprehension ability to understand
D. Understanding ability to know
Things that are NOT prudence:
A. Production average/uninterested repetition
a. Isn’t fully invested
B. Scientific Knowledge ability to memorize mathematical, proven necessities
a. Cannot use in daily life to discern good vs. bad
C. Nous ability to grasp abstract ideas and initial principles
a. Solely knowledge
D. Wisdom nous and scientific knowledge combined
a. Cannot apply to daily life
12. Why do we act incontinently / continently?
• We have the knowledge, but fail to use it. For example, being drunk—we know that
it is bad, but we do it anyway.
• We learn new knowledge but it doesn’t go deep enough.
• We have different types of knowledge, but we choose a second type when two ideas
clash. For example, finding money—you can 1) return it or 2) live a better life.
• We follow our beliefs instead of following knowledge.
13. Definition of friendship (2 definitions). Explain.
A.Areciprocated good will
B. Matter more about giving love than being loved
C. Giving to a friend what we would expect from ourselves; begins within yourself = self-love
We can only become virtuous or vicious with other people in our lives. Sometimes we love others
out of utility. Sometimes we love others out of pleasure. Sometimes we love others out of a mixture of both reasons.
14. Definition of pleasure (2 definitions). Explain definitions and what the practical
consequences of these definitions of pleasures are.
Pleasure as activity the result of an unimpeded activity; there is no struggle (ex. play piano, do it,
Pleasure as supervening activities are not complete until there is pleasure present (ex. cake with
cherry on top)
15. Why is theôria (contemplation, study) superior to other human activities?
Theoria exercises the best part of a human being. When we study we use the best part of our
soul, and in doing this, we reach the highest please. It is the most continuous and pleasant because
it is the purest and most certain activity. It is self-sufficient and divine.
At the beginning of this Book, Augustine invites God to 'come into me.' What qualities of God
make this request impossible (if it is taken literally)?
God cannot be contained by what he created, so he can't "come into"Augustine in any
literal sense.At the same time, God is the necessary condition for the existence of anything, so he's
"within" Augustine already. Further, God is not "in" every