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Unformatted text preview: Virtue Ethics Lecture 6 Summer School PHIL 102 1 Key Ideas • Consequences and following duties or moral rules are not all that matter • The rightness and wrongness of actions is related to virtues or moral character • Not just focused on right action but also: a. what kind of person to be ( a virtuous person ) b. how one should live ( a good life ) 2 Aristotle (384-322 BC) Focus: • What is ultimately good for human beings • The connection between what is ultimately good and the psychology of human beings Idea: • Our daily lives can be improved through a better understanding of human well-being 3 Aristotle’s Ethics: Overview Q: What is the ultimate good for human beings? A: ‘eudaimonia’ • happiness • Fourishing • well-being • a good life ‘A genuinely happy, Fourishing life: a good human life’ 4 Aristotle’s Ethics: Overview Eudaimonia is something: • achieved (in the long term) • we all want and we all aim at in our actions Q 1: What counts as (or constitues) such a life? Q 2: How do we achieve it? • By acquiring and practicing virtues ( ar ! te ; also translated as ‘excellence’) • Act from virtues using our own judgment (which can be improved given experience and time) 5 Three Questions... 1. What exactly counts as (or constitutes) Aristotle’s idea of the ’good life’ ( eudaimonia )? 2. What is the relationship between ‘the good life’ and the virtues? 3. What is virtue ? 6 What is eudaimonia ? Aristotle: the good life is not (simply) a life of: • Pleasure “a life Ft only for cattle” • Making money money is just a means, not an end in itself • Honour can be taken away and depends on others • Virtue yes, but must be active ... 7 What is ‘the good life’ (eudaimonia)? Q: How does Aristotle arrive at this deFnition? • ¡unction ( ergon; characteristic activity) argument Living a life of rational activity in accordance with virtue 8 Function argument: (pt.1) 1. To perform a social role is to perform a characteristic activity ( ergon ) • the characteristic activity of ¢ute-players is to play ¢utes • the characteristic activity of sculptors is to sculpt 2. The good for a ¢ute player (or sculptor etc) depends on 2....
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- Spring '09
- human beings, characteristic activity