Aristotle (384-322 BCE): What is Virtue?

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Aristotle (384-322 BCE): What is Virtue?. PHIL 1003 Semester I 2009-10. What causes downfall of Platos best regime?. Inevitable degeneration of best regime ( Rep ., 546a-e); Fault of imperfect matings: how can this happen? Platonic numerology and astrology; - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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<ul><li><p>Aristotle (384-322 BCE):What is Virtue?PHIL 1003Semester I 2009-10</p></li><li><p>What causes downfall of Platos best regime?Inevitable degeneration of best regime (Rep., 546a-e);Fault of imperfect matings: how can this happen?Platonic numerology and astrology;Calculate the number for a human creature; no one understands it!Matings out of sync with this number;Result: children fall short of ideal; Classes become mixed, no more pure golds;Passionate pursue their ambitions, creating oligarchyrule of the few in their own self-interest.</p></li><li><p>Aristotles ContributionsMajor ethical theorist;Major political thinker;theorist of democracy: qualified approval Cf. Platonic critique of democracy = rule of the worst elements;Biologist; Used scientific method to analyze political institutions;Logic = the organon, or tool. </p></li><li><p>Ancient Greece</p></li><li><p>Aristotles life</p><p>384 BCE born in Stagira (Macedonia)therefore could not become an Athenian citizen;Son of a court physician, Nicomachus; 367-347 studied in Platos Academy, Athens347 Plato dies; Aristotle in Assos, Mytilene and Macedonia;In Asia Minor studies marine organisms; 342 tutors the Macedonian prince, Alexander;little discernible influence335 returns to Athens, founds Lyceum;322 dies in Chalcis.</p></li><li><p>School of Athens by Raphael (16th cent.)</p></li><li><p>What this picture illustratesPlato pointing at sky,Aristotle at earth.Why?</p></li><li><p>Aristotles MethodEmpirical and concrete: based in biologyMake observations of phenomenaDraw conclusions on that basisSocial and ethical questions: examine actual views on an issue or topic;Find out what the telos, or goal of sth is;That tells you its nature, andWhat its good is: everything has its goalThis is empirical.</p></li><li><p>An acorns telos</p></li><li><p>Aristotles idea of The GoodNo one good or Form of the Good (cf. Plato)Many goodsthe good of each thing, organism, person, e.g.The good of catsThe good of treesThe good of societyThe good of philosophersThe good of a thing is determined by examining its nature:We understand the nature of a thing by looking at its goal or telos.</p></li><li><p>What Plato and Aristotle share: soul-society analogyPlatoSoul: 3 pts: reason, passiondesiresSociety: 3 pts: rulers, guardians peopleAristotleSoul: 2 pts: reason desires</p><p>Society: 2 pts: rulers (rotation among citizens) ruled: citizens and others </p></li><li><p>Aristotles view of the soul</p></li><li><p>Aristotles Hierarchy of Beings3 kinds of soul:Vegetative: plantsSensitive (having senses): animalsRational and active: man</p><p>These ideas still used in the 17th century by Descartes.</p><p>What is unique to man is reasoning ability and his highest good/goal/telos is to exercise that ability in action.</p><p>Plants and animals have different goals than man because they have different natures/souls.</p></li><li><p>Hierarchy of goods, sciencesCritique of Platos Form of the Good (1096a15)Not one good, but manyGood of city at top of hierarchy of goodsGood of individual subordinate (NE, 1.2)Why?Not one science of good, but many (1096a30)Controlling science = political scienceAll other sciences subordinategeneralship, household mgmt, rhetoricWhy?</p></li><li><p>What is the Good for man?For sake of which we do thingsMany of our activities are instrumental, only means to the endCharacteristics of the Good for man:Self-sufficientChoiceworthy (having merit)Active.</p></li><li><p>The Good = happiness; what is happiness?Is it freedom from pain?Is it the opposite of whatever state in which one finds oneself?Many believe it is gratification of desires:Honor, being admired, respectedWealthnot the good we are seeking (1096a)HealthHaving fun.Aristotle on wealth, health, intelligence, etc:Only instruments we use to pursue the goodNot ends in themselves!</p></li><li><p>the human good turns out to bethe souls activity that expresses virtue (NE, 1098a20)</p></li><li><p>You are not born virtuous;You must become virtuous.</p></li></ul>

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