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Unformatted text preview: Aristotle 384-322 BC 30/01/2008 14:02:00 Nicomachen Ethics - a collection of Aristotles lecture notes How should we live our lives? When we act, we act for a purpose We are rational beings and we act in a rational way o Bridlemaking bridle horsemanship transportation or fun or war or work or competitionwhich all leads to happiness (work leads to money and then happinesswar to security then happiness) Highest/best/most complete good (which Aristotle thinks is happiness) will have following 3 features o It is pursued for itself o Other things are pursued for the sake of it o It is not pursued for the sake of anything else What is happiness? o Pleasure? life of gratification No! life for grazing animals o Honor? political life No! superficial depends on others to honor you o Virtue? also the goal of a political life No! What about terrible misfortunes? o Happiness = eudaimonia (not a subjective feeling) = flourishing Eudaimonia focuses on the whole life not independent moments Virture, honor, pleasure, money, family/friends are all means to happiness Instrumental - money Constitutive - virtue What is good for an x? What is an x good for?-function, ergon o Ex. What is a knife good for? Cutting (function) o What is good for a knife? Sharpening o Ex. #2 heartcirculating blood o Eating healthy food, exercise o Ex. #3 harpistharp playing o Practice What is the function of a human being? o Life? NO-plants live too o Consciousness? NO- animals are conscious too o Reason/rationality. YES-distinctive function, not shared with animals or plants....
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- Spring '08