Philosophy_262_Final_Exam_Study_Guide - Philosophy 262...

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Philosophy 262 Final Exam Study Guide 1. Some philosophers who write on moral philosophy concentrate primarily on giving an account of what it is to be a morally good action. Some concentrate primarily on giving an account of what it is to be a morally good person. Which approach does Aristotle use (defend your answer)? Does Aristotle have an account of both morally good actions and morally good people? Explain. Aristotle concentrates primarily on giving an account of what it is to be a morally good person. o To him happiness is the highest good and the end at which all our activities ultimately aim. You might take enjoyment out of building a house but you did not build the house for the building enjoyment but rather for the happiness that comes with living in and owning one’s own house. The purpose and highest end goal involved, to build the house, is only achievable when lesser pursuits are fulfilled (in this instance, the building of the house.) o Aristotle defines the supreme good as an activity of the rational soul in accordance with virtue. Virtue=excellence For Aristotle, virtue and moderation are used as a means to attain happiness. Like happiness, pleasure has many forms as well – surely gluttony cannot be the highest good because such a lifestyle is totally devoid of the rational faculty that so defines the human experience and understanding of what it means to be happy Humans are distinct above all for having also a rational soul, which governs thought. Only happiness is an end in itself, so it is the ultimate end at which all our activities aim. As such, it is the supreme good. Moral virtue is a disposition to behave in the right manner and as a mean between extremes of deficiency and excess, which are vices. o We learn moral virtue primarily through habit and practice rather than through reasoning and instruction. One needs to find the right balance between something. Not eating at all so others can eat is too extreme, as is eating everything so as not to let anybody else eat. Finding the right balance between having your own food and sharing is morally virtuous. o Virtue is a matter of having the appropriate attitude toward pain and pleasure. We are only be held responsible for actions we perform voluntarily and not for cases involving physical compulsion or unavoidable ignorance. You are not credited or judged for being forced to eat if you are in jail and have to eat then. That is not your choice. o The best measure of moral judgment is choice, since choices are always made
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voluntarily by means of rational deliberation. o We always choose to aim at the good, but people are often ignorant of what is good and so aim at some apparent good instead, which is in fact a vice.
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