Week 7-Being good (class).pptx

Week 7-Being good (class).pptx - Being good—Is virtue...

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Being good—Is virtue good for the person who has it ? Week 7 1
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Short essay question “Can virtue make you happy?” Submission date: 27 March (Friday) at or before 11:59pm. 2
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Lecture outline I. Virtue as a central component of the g ood life II. Is virtue good for you? III. Arguments why virtue is good for you IV. How to become virtuous V. The limits of virtue’s value 3
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I. Virtue as a central componen t of the good life To live a good life, we need to experienc e good things in life – social relation ships, pleasure, achievement of worthwhil e goals, knowledge, aesthetic experience , autonomy, etc. But shouldn’t you also be a good person? Shouldn’t you be virtuous? 4
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I. Virtue as a central component of th e good life Aristotle: Good life = virtues + external goods External goods: ( Nicomachean Ethics (NE), 1099b1-8) friends, wealth, honor, political power, good birth, good children, personal beauty Virtues: courage, temperance, justice, truthfulness, magnificence, etc. Confucius: Filial piety, brotherly love, benevolence, reverence , respectfulness, courage, wisdom, etc. 5
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II. Is virtue good for you? Virtue is good for others. But is being a good person good at all for the person who is good? Does virtue pay? Life is not fair: bad things happen to good peo ple, and good things happen to bad people. Sometimes the only or easiest way to get what w e want is to lie, cheat, or steal. Why not do i t if we somehow knew we couldn’t be caught? 6
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II. Is virtue good for you ? Why be virtuous and moral? The challenge of Glaucon in Plato’s Republic People only do right for what they can get out of it (benefits such as wealth, power, and reputatio n) They will do wrong if they can get away from punis hment Is virtue good for you like taking medicine (not d esirable for its own sake but has good consequence s) or being able to see things (good in both)? 7
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II. Is virtue good for you ? Consider the Ring of Gyges ( Republic Book II , 358-360), which grants the owner the power to become invisible at will. What would you do if you had that power? 8
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III. Arguments for why virtue i s good for you 1. Virtue is intrinsically good 2. Virtue is its own (psychological) rewa rd 3. Virtue is good for one’s flourishing 9
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1. Virtue is intrinsically good
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