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Unformatted text preview: Aristotles Ethics Main lecture topics: Socrates/Plato/Aristotle Aristotles chief issue: the good life The notion of TELEOLOGY Modern science and teleology Teleology in Aristotles ethics As remark about accuracy/precision The good life and ends The complete and the self-sufficient good Happiness (Eudaimonia) Different conceptions (criticized) Happiness for man and function As theory of moral development Aristotles doctrine of the mean Vocabulary : Mean Teleology Nicomachean Ethics Excerpts Book I Chapter 1 [Seeking the ultimate good, end:] Every art and every scientific inquiry, and similarly every action and purpose, may be said to aim at some good. Hence the good has been well defined as that at which all things aim. But it is clear that there is a difference in the ends; for the ends are sometimes activities, and sometimes results beyond the mere activities. Also, where there are certain ends beyond the actions, the results are naturally superior to the activities. As there are various actions, arts, and sciences, it follows that the ends are also various. Thus health is the end of medicine, a vessel of shipbuilding, victory of strategy, and wealth of domestic economy. It often happens that there are a number of such arts or sciences which fall under a single faculty, as the art of making bridles, and all such other arts as make the instruments of horsemanship, under horsemanship, and this . . . as well as every military action under strategy, and in the same way other arts or sciences under other faculties. But in all these cases the ends of the architectonic arts or sciences, whatever they may be, are more desirable than those of the subordinate arts or sciences, as it is for the sake of the former that the latter are themselves sought after. It makes no difference to the argument whether the activities themselves are the ends of the actions, or something else beyond the activities as in the above mentioned sciences. If it is true that in the sphere of action there is an end which we wish for is own sake, and for the sake of which we wish everything else, and that we do not desire all things for the sake of something else (for, if that is so, the process will go on ad infinitum and our desire will be idle and futile), it is clear that this will be the good or the supreme good. Does it not follow then that the knowledge of this supreme good is of great importance for the conduct of life, and that, if we know it, we shall be like archers who have a mark at which to aim, [and] shall have a better chance of attaining...
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