Note 7Aristotle Function Argument

Note 7Aristotle Function Argument - Aristotle's Function...

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Aristotle’s Function Argument (FA) in NE I, 7. HANDOUT The AIM of the FA is to discover the good for human beings, at least “in outline”. The FA has two main parts: First, A’s psychobiology from DeAnima , which locates human beings within the living kingdom (the domain of ensouled or animate things) and tells us what human beings are (their essence). In this scheme classifications are made and essences are thought of in terms of functions: activities of members of a species that are essential to members of the species, and can be either common with other species of the same genus or distinctive of the species. Second, a theory connecting this concept of function with good, in two ways: first, a member of a species is good of its kind when it performs the functions of that kind well; second, what enables a thing to perform its functions well (its virtues) are its good or part of its good. See if you can locate these two parts in A’s text and in the following reconstruction of the FA, mostly by David Keyt (in “Intellectualism in Aristotle”). 1. In the animate world there are four general functions: to use food and reproduce, to perceive, to move from one place to another, and to think. Accordingly, there are three i general forms of life: the nutritive and reproductive, shared by all animate things, the perceptive, shared by all animals, and the life of reason, practical and theoretical, which is special to man. (De Anima , Bk.I, Ch.l; II,4; III,9; Politics , VII,13). 2. One form of life is lower than another if and only if normal members of the first lack a function that normal members of the second possess. Thus plants are lower than animals,
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Note 7Aristotle Function Argument - Aristotle's Function...

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