ARISTOTLE (384-322 B.C.) Born in Stagira, Greece (near Macedonia) Aristotle’s father introduced him to anatomy, medicine and philosophy – he was the.
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<ul><li> Slide 1 </li> <li> Slide 2 </li> <li> ARISTOTLE (384-322 B.C.) Born in Stagira, Greece (near Macedonia) Aristotles father introduced him to anatomy, medicine and philosophy he was the court physician Aristotle became friends with the Kings son Philip. Parents died when he was 17 Plato taught and mentored Aristotle Plato was a leading thinker in Greece </li> <li> Slide 3 </li> <li> Aristotle and Plato PLATO - Plato can be understood as idealistic and rationalistic. He divides reality into two: On the one hand we have ideas or ideals. This is ultimate reality, permanent, eternal, spiritual. On the other hand, theres phenomena, which is a manifestation of the ideal. Phenomena are appearances -- things as they seem to us -- and are associated with matter, time, and space. - He focussed on the abstract, the world of ideas. Ideas are available to us through thought, while phenomena are available to us through our senses. So, naturally, thought is a vastly superior means to get to the truth. - Senses can only give you information about the ever-changing and imperfect world of phenomena, and so can only provide you with implications about ultimate reality, not reality itself. Reason goes straight to the idea. ARISTOTLE - He looked at human experiences and the world of nature - Thrived on hands-on experience, observation and classification </li> <li> Slide 4 </li> <li> Aristotle and Alexander Due to political unrest, Aristotle fled from Athens to Aegean where he married and had a daughter Fled again to Macedonia and began to tutor King Philips son Alexander (later known as the Great) Aristotle started a school (Lyceum) He wrote about logic, metaphysics, theology, history, politics and ethics and the basic foundations of many science disciplines </li> <li> Slide 5 </li> <li> Leaving again... After Alexander the great died, there was more political unrest Aristotle was charged with not respecting the gods of the state Fled again, but died in a year Much of his work was lost the destruction of the great library of Alexandria Only 40 of 360 works survived to today </li> <li> Slide 6 </li> <li> The Pursuit of Happiness Aristotle argues that all knowledge and moral purpose aspires to some good. And what according to Aristotle is the highest of all practical goods? HAPPINESS Aristotle does not equate happiness with pleasure. ARISTOTLE AND VIRTUE ETHICS </li> <li> Slide 7 </li> <li> HappinessPleasure An enduring state It is the condition of the good person who succeeds in living well and acting well. Only momentary Hedonism is a school of thought which argues that pleasure is the only intrinsic good. pleasureintrinsic good A Hedonist strives to maximize net pleasure </li> <li> Slide 8 </li> <li> But what is the Good? In fact, Plato himself also had a high regard for the good. To him the good humans seek in life is in all things without being something itself. Nowhere do we find the good; we find only good things. Ex. Beauty is found everywhere and in all things but nowhere do we find beauty itself. There is no one embodiment of beauty. The closest we come to the good, according to Plato, is in contemplation. In contemplation we bask in the good and good enters into our knowing. As contemplatives of the good, philosophers are closest to the good. Plato argued that one could find the good through reason. They have chosen the best the happiest. They are happy because they make true choices about the value and worth of their actions. All others are ruled by feelings. They measure their actions by how much they enjoy them, not by their value. Plato was in fact speaking out against a movement known as sophism. Sophists proclaimed there could be no truth; all so-called truth is no more than opinion. If there is no such thing as absolute truth, then there can be no such thing as a universal moral code that we should all live our live by. In their view, moral values were nothing more than individual or cultural opinion. The sophists held that life is ruled by basic needs and desires, not by reason. A sophist named Callicles argued that the best life is a life of sensual pleasure. </li> <li> Slide 9 </li> <li> Like Plato, Aristotle was concerned with the short-sightedness of searching for happiness by following ones instincts and sensual pleasures. But...Aristotle was more down to earth than Plato. He considered Platos idea of the good to be too abstract. Aristotle insisted that ones search for the good must be identified with something real. The good, according to Aristotle, is to be found in God. God is the embodiment of the good and the good is inscribed by God into the nature of all created things. To search for the good is to go to each thing and discover its potential. In each case one needs to ask: What is the purpose of this thing and how can it best achieve its goal? According to Aristotle human beings can only be happy if they fulfill their basic human purpose or function. That is, humans can be happy only if they act as humans are specifically meant to act. </li> <li> Slide 10 </li> <li> This is why we call Aristotles ethics: TELEOLOGICAL ETHICS TELEOLOGICAL: having to do with the design or purpose of something. A house is built to live in A clock is made to keep time According to Aristotle, the end that human beings aspire to is happiness. The aim (goal) of human life is HAPPINESS Just like......... The aim of medicine is HEALTH The aim of shipbuilding is a SHIP The aim of any sports game is VICTORY The aim of any domestic economy is WEALTH. The aim (goal) of human life is HAPPINESS </li> <li> Slide 11 </li> <li> REASON Furthermore, Aristotle argued that humans will be happy only if they are able to act with reason in the various circumstances of life. Reason is a term that refers to the capacity human beings have to make sense of things, to establish and verify facts, and to change or justify practices, institutions and beliefs. It is normally considered to be a definitive characteristic of human nature. The concept of reason is sometimes referred to as rationality.human naturerationality Above all else, we are intended to be rational. Our greatest capacity as humans and what sets us apart from animals is our intelligence and ability to reason. Humans are rational animals and we must base our actions on reasoning. To act ethically, therefore, is to engage our capacity to reason as we develop good character. This is the highest form of happiness. </li> <li> Slide 12 </li> <li> VIRTUE When people seek to become who they are intended to be, they develop habits that represent the best of what it means to be human. Aristotle calls these excellences Virtues. </li> <li> Slide 13 </li> <li> Virtue Ethics Ethics should look not only at how we are obligated to act, but also at the kind of being we ought to be. Many philosophers believe that morality consists of following precisely defined rules of conduct, such as dont kill, or dont steal. Presumably, I must learn these rules, and then make sure each of my actions live up to the rules. Virtue ethics, however, places less emphasis on learning rules, and instead stresses the importance of developing good habits of character, such as benevolence. Virtue ethics </li> <li> Slide 14 </li> <li> Cardinal Virtues Plato emphasized four virtues in particular, which were later called cardinal virtues: PrudenceFortitude TemperanceJustice Three other virtues added by St. Thomas Aquinas include faith, hope and charity. Together these seven virtues are known as the Cardinal Virtues in the Catholic Faith. In addition to advocating good habits of character, virtue theorists hold that we should avoid acquiring bad character traits, or vices, such as cowardice, insensibility, injustice, and vanity. </li> <li> Slide 15 </li> <li> So what does it mean to have the virtue of using our ability to reason well in our lives? Where our desires, emotions and actions are involved, both going to excess and falling short are vices. We act well when we seek the midpoint between excess and deficiency (being moderate in what we desire, feel and do). We acquire the virtues of living reasonably when we acquire the various abilities needed to control our desires, emotions and actions so that they neither go to excess nor fall short </li> <li> Slide 16 </li> <li> According to Aristotle VIRTUE is the mean (moderation) between extremes and having such virtues is the key to happiness since these virtues enable us to act as humans were meant to act. </li> <li> Slide 17 </li> <li> YOU ARE WHAT YOU ACT AND YOU ACT WHAT YOU ARE We are not born with such abilities, but acquire them in youth by being trained repeatedly to respond to situations in a reasonable manner. We become virtuous by being trained to act virtuously in the appropriate situations until it becomes a habit. At first acting virtuously is difficult, but when we have acquired a virtue it becomes easy and pleasant. Similarly we can become vicious by repeatedly responding to situations in an unreasonable manner. At first an act, desire or emotion of vice may make us feel guilty, but if we engage in that vice long enough it also eventually becomes a habit via habituation. This is why we should make sure that our actions are of the proper kind for our character will correspond to how we act. Our moral character is developed through the actions we choose and our character in turn influences the actions we choose. Through our actions we shape the kind of person we gradually become. </li> <li> Slide 18 </li> <li> Example: By habituating ourselves to disregard danger and to face it, we become courageous, and it is when we have become courageous that we are best able to face danger. </li> <li> Slide 19 </li> <li> The test of the presence of a certain character trait is the pleasure or pain that accompanies our actions. Example: The person, who stands his ground against fearful things and takes pleasure in this, is courageous, while the person for whom this is painful is a coward. In conclusion.......according to Aristotle, to assess the moral rightness or wrongness of moral decision, then, we must look at the kind of character that the decision produces. If the decision tends to produce a virtuous character, then it is morally right; if it produces a vicious character, then it is morally wrong. </li> <li> Slide 20 </li> <li> THE IMPORTANCE OF POLIS ~ CITY A persons character traits are generally developed by training within a community such as: As a person grows and matures, his or her character is shaped by the values that these communities prize and by the traits that they encourage or discourage. Thus the idea of community is important to virtue ethics. </li> <li> Slide 21 </li> <li> FAULTS OF VIRTUE ETHICS People turn to ethics when they face situations in which they must decide what to do and the morality of the alternatives is unclear. For example, a woman is trying to decide whether or not she should have an abortion. In such situations people ask themselves; What should I do? NOT What should I be? Virtue ethics does not directly answer the question of what one should do. In this situation people would much rather know the proper course of action as opposed to what kind of character they should develop. </li> <li> Slide 22 </li> <li> Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas St. Thomas Aquinas rediscovered Aristotle in the 13 th century through Arab scholars He was born into a noble family either in 1225 or 1227. When he was five years old his parents placed him under the care of the Benedictines of Monte Casino. At the age of 18, Thomas rejected the material life and entered the Order of St. Dominic in spite of his familys opposition. At the age of 22 Thomas was appointed to teach in Naples and then in Paris and finally in Rome. </li> <li> Slide 23 </li> <li> Thomas Aquinas & Summa Theologica His greatest work Summa Theologica is intended as a manual for beginners in theology and a compendium of all of the main theological teachings of the Church. It is famous, among other things, for its five arguments for the existence of God. The Summa's topics follow a cycle: the existence of God; Creation, Man; Mans purpose; Christ; the Sacraments; and back to God. </li> <li> Slide 24 </li> <li> Creation Man Creations return to God through man Christ Sacraments God </li> <li> Slide 25 </li> <li> The Summa Theologica is meant to summarize the history of the cosmos and provide an outline for the meaning of life itself. This order is cyclical. It begins with God and his existence. The entire first part of the Summa deals with God and his creation, which reaches its climax in man. The second part of the Summa deals with man's purpose (the meaning of life), which is happiness. The ethics detailed in this part summarize the ethics (Aristotelian in nature) which man must follow to reach his intended destiny. Since no man on his own can truly live the perfect ethical life (and therefore reach God), it was necessary that a perfect man bridge the gap between God and man. Thus God became man - Jesus. The third part of the Summa, therefore, deals with the life of Christ. In order to follow the way prescribed by this perfect man, in order to live with God's grace (which is necessary for man's salvation), the Sacraments have been provided; the final part of the Summa considers the Sacraments. </li> <li> Slide 26 </li> <li> In the end...... On December 6, 1273, Thomas decided that he would leave his work on the Summa Thelogica unfinished. During mass on that day he experienced an ecstasy which led him to comment, I can do no more. Such secrets have been revealed to me that all I have written now appears to be of little value. Thomas died while travelling to the Council of Lyons in 1274. He was canonized a saint in 1323 and declared a doctor of the Church. </li> <li> Slide 27 </li> <li> Aristotle and Virtue Ethics Like Aristotle, Aquinas insisted that the ethical comes from the end that is inscribed in the nature of all creatures. What something is for is placed in the very core of what something is. At a persons core is a desire for the good. Aquinas, as did Aristotle, equated God with the highest good. For Aquinas, however, this God is the Trinitarian God of Christianity Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Both Aristotle and Aquinas held that people were made for happiness. But where Aristotle connected happiness with the good life lived by a virtuous person, Aquinas added that human happiness was not fulfilled with the good life lived on earth. Because of his belief in Gods love for us as shown in Jesus, Aquinas held that there is a fuller happiness called blessedness that is to be found only by accepting Gods pure gift of the resurrected Christ. </li> <li> Slide 28 </li> <li> Aquinass ethics operated on two levels: </li> </ul>
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