Aristotle Paper (Final Draft)

Aristotle Paper (Final Draft) - Lance A Schell Dr Robert N...

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Lance A. Schell Dr. Robert N. Johnson Philosophy 1100: Introduction to Ethics 17 Sep. 2010 The Aristotelian Perspective of BP and Halliburton An engineer for Halliburton (an engineering corporation out of Europe), Jesse Gagliano, testified in the proceedings of the Deepwater Horizon investigations that he had warned a BP engineer about a cracked cement seal in an oil rig off the Gulf Coast that could be leaking natural gas. 1 Several days after this “warning”, the rig exploded, sending millions of gallons of crude oil gushing into the ocean and killing eleven employees. Many questions arise as to the motives of the engineer in their decision not to heed the warning as well as the extent to which they should be held responsible for the disaster. In Nicomachean Ethics , Aristotle describes his theory that judges a person based on their actions; the actions are defined either as virtuous, which is something a virtuous person would do, or vicious, which is something a vicious (by definition, vicious is someone who is not virtuous; not necessarily defined in the theory, but implied) person would do. Therefore, the question becomes whether the behavior and actions of the engineer at BP were of virtuousness, or of viciousness? In this paper, I shall argue that the behavior and actions of the BP engineer were of viciousness because the actions were of cowardice as opposed to bravery, a breach of safety occurred which prevented the engineer from performing their function well (virtuously), and the actions are considered unwise, as defined in comparison to a wise person’s opinion of the situation. First, we must define Aristotle’s theory, his thoughts on what makes a person virtuous, and various methods he uses to exemplify this ethical theory. Aristotle first remarks that, “Every 1 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703447004575450110807492410.html
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craft and every line of inquiry, and likewise every action and decision seems to seek some good… [T]he ends appear to differ.” 2 These ends lend themselves to either products or actions, which are subordinate to a further set of products and actions, and so on. Therefore, it is political science’s end that will, “… include the ends of the other sciences, and so this will be human good.” 3 According to Aristotle, political science examines fine and just things. 4
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Aristotle Paper (Final Draft) - Lance A Schell Dr Robert N...

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