PHIL 1103-003 Phil 1103-003
Arkansas Tech University
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Nascarter on Friday January 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Phil 1103-003 at Arkansas Tech University taught by Michael Brodrick in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 19 views. For similar materials see Intro to Philosophy in PHIL-Philosophy at Arkansas Tech University.
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Date Created: 01/29/16
Aristotle’s Ethics Part 1 Moderation – The ideal human being behaves in moderate ways and avoids those actions that are regarded as wrong. Some qualities inhere in things, whereas others have to be acquired. Virtue – Is an acquired habit of behaving in moderate ways. (Practice makes perfect.) We do not have to try so hard to achieve moderation each time we do something. This what it means to be virtuous or to have good character. Some of the most important virtues include: Courage (Cowardice <-> Rashness) Temperance (Insensible <-> Profligate) Liberality (Mean <-> Prodigality) Gentleness (Spiritless <-> Irascibility) Each virtue can be described as a “mean” between two “extremes.” One of Aristotle’s methods was to observe how those around him understood and responded to certain behaviors. He theorized that each species has a purpose and its purpose is defined by its nature. So the purpose of a human being is to reason to restrain the impulses, i.e., to be virtuous. Aristotle’s Ethics Part 2 The mean varies from one individual to the next. Feedback from others helps you identify where the mean is for you but how do you know where the mean is? Uncertain where the location of the mean. For each virtue, one of the extremes is more like the virtue, one less like the virtue. One of the extremes is more attractive to us by nature than the other. Avoid the extreme that is less like the mean. Find the extreme that is more like the mean and go far from that one. Remain always “On guard against what is pleasant and against pleasure.” For “When pleasure is on her trial we are not impartial judges.” Happiness to Aristotle was a state of the organism, not a feeling. He held that happiness and being virtuous were virtually the same, but that does not mean we have to be virtuous in order to be happy. Virtue is not a means to happiness but an end-in-itself. A virtuous action is one that is knowingly and deliberately chosen, chosen out of habit and chosen just for its own sake. Someone who chooses virtue for the sake of happiness is not virtuous. Romantic Influence Aristotle could get away with (Specific actions to take) because at the time there was agreement on what actions not to take. There is less agreement about that in our current time and place. There is also less agreement about what good life is. Aristotle said we should be moderate. Happiness and moderation essentially equivalent. Romanticism, a literacy and philosophical movement that picked up in the 19 th century. Saddened by the imperfections of life. Lives in the moment. Chases perfection knowing it is out of reach.
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