Philosophy Class

"The Truth will make you odd."

Metaphysics behind Aristotle's Ethics

 

Aristotelian Metaphysical Principles and Principles Derived from Metaphysical Principles Used in His Nicomachean Ethics.

The good that causes happiness should be a man's own possession and not easily removed. Excellence is better than honor.

 

Excellence is better than honor.

 

Good is predicated of singulars. (good time, good substance, good relations, etc.)

 

There is an attainable good.

 

The end of our action is the good. (ex. The end of building is a house.)

 

All actions are chosen because of the end.

 

We choose some ends as means to other ends.

 

The Highest good is our final end and not a means to another end.

 

The goodness of man resides in his proper function. (Remember as each

 

part of the body has the proper function, so does the whole man.)

  

Man's Hierarchy of goods.

 

           Vegetative good

             Animal or sensing good

  Rational element.

 

 

Activity is the life of reason as opposed to mere possession of reason.

Activity is more perfect than possession.

Proper function equals high standards

Proper function of life in man is life based on the rational element of man.

Man's excellence equals life in conformity with the rational element

 

 

Man's excellence is virtue.

Virtue gives one power over oneself. (Most important!)

 

 

 

 

               Aristotle's Ethics

 

 

Aristotle: Division of Moral Virtues

from Approaches to Morality, ad. Mann/Krsyche

1. Division of Moral Virtues According to Feeling

(Pathos)

 

 

FEELING               VIRTUE           DEFECT             EXCESS

Confidence            Courage         Cowardliness      Rashness

 

Fear                      Courage         Fearlessness      Cowardice

 

Pleasures              Self-control    Insensibility     Self-indulgence

 

Anger                   Gentleness     Spiritlessness     Irascibility

 

Shame                 Modesty          Shameless        Bashfulness

 

 

Aristotle also listed the following:

 

FEELING: Pain and pleasure felt at the good or

bad fortune of others.

 

VIRTUE: Righteous joy at the deserved good

fortune of others: righteousness indignation at

the undeserved good fortune of others.

 

DEFECT: Malice or rejoicing at the ill fortune of

others.

 

EXCESS: Envy or deep sorrow in view of the

good fortune of others.

But according to Aristotle, the feelings of shame

and pain and pleasure at the good or bad fortune

of others are intermediate states, not pure

feelings, and their corresponding virtues are not

virtues in the strict sense.

 

 

Division of Moral Virtues according to Action. (Praxis)

 

Action            Virtue              Defect             excess           

 

 

ACTION - Giving and getting money  on a modest scale:   

 

Virtue - Liberality                         

 

Defect - Stinginess

 

Excess - Prodigality

 

 

 

Action - Giving money on a large  scale                                   

 

Virtue- Magnificence                          

 

Defect - Stinginess                     

 

Excess - Vulgarity

 

 

Action- Pursuit of Honors on a modest scale:

 

Virtue- Proper pride 

 

Defect- Lack of ambition                                  

 

Excess- PRIDE                              

 

 

 

Action- Pursuit of Honors on a large scale

 

Virtue- Greatness of Soul                     

 

Defect- Undue Humility                     

 

'Excess- Empty Vanity 

 

 

 

(ACTIONS IN SOCIAL INTERCOURSE)

 

Action- Conversation

 

Virtue -Truthfulness(Sincerity)                                                              

 

Excess- Boastfulness              

 

Defect- Self-deprication

 

 

Action- Pleasantness

 

Virtue- Wittiness

 

Defect- Boorishness                                       

 

Excess-Buffoonery

 

 

Action- Companionship

 

Virtue- Friendliness

 

Excess - Quarrelsomeness                                  

 

Defect- Obsequiousness and flattery

 

 

 

Action- Exchange of goods : 

 

Virtue- Justice

 

Excess- InJustice           

 

Defect-  Injustice     

        

 

IMPORTANT **(no in between: either justice or injustice)

 

 

 

There are two species of justice:

  

1.General Justice: and this is practically identical with being fully

virtuous since it includes every virtue.

  

2. Particular Justice: which has three types.

 

     a. Equity: it is "rectification of law where law is defective

because of its generality"

 

      b. Distributive Justice

 

      c. Corrective/Commutative Justice (Nicomachean Ethics)

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