Moral Philosophy

Moral Philosophy - MoralPhilosophy 15:32

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Moral Philosophy 15:32 Things that you want/value/pursue for the sake of something else = instrumental  goods Ie. Money for the sake of buying stuff Things that you want/value/pursue for their own sake = intrinsic goods Ie. Music, love Eudaimonia= Aristotle’s Greek word for happiness Happiness is not a feeling in Aristotle, it is a state Highest end has 2 features: Completeness and self sufficiency False final ends:  money (gives benefits that aren’t intrinsic) Pleasure (fades) The Argument from function: Starts at the end of book one ch 7
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Method to find what constitutes good: o Excellence in performing the characteristic activity (or function) of F’s  (F=anything) In order to constitute what doing well is you must know what F is  supposed to do (ie. a good flutist plays beautiful music) o The Function of an F is:  The function is not the job assigned by someone else The characteristic activity of F’s The distinctive  nature or essence of F’s What makes F different from Y The human function: o “we take the human function to be a certain kind of life, and take this life to  be activity and actions that involve reason” (1098a14) o Aristotle is saying that what makes humans distinct  is that we exibit a  distinctive level/kind of reasoning, therefore reasoning is the function of  humans. Nutrition and hydration is a part of human life but is shared by all living  things and therefore not distinctive to humans and therefore not our  function Capable of feeling pleasure and pain and other feelings and appetites  (also shared among the animal kingdom) o So we can identify that the human good is excellence in activity or action  that involves reason ( rational  activity) arete = excellence (greek) important idea: Olympic medals are not awarded to the fastest and the strongest.  But the fastest and strongest that decide to compete. (having good traits doesn’t  make you good. You have to exercise those traits) Virtues of Character     Virtue:
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o Two types: A-rational (do not involve reason) Rational (do involve thinking and reasoning)[broken down even further  into:] Thinking Reasoning Aspect (virtues of thought) Desires and feelings  Virtues of character (desires being influenced by thinking and  reasoning o Genuinely possessing virtue doesn’t mean just action, you must be aware  that you are performing just actions and are doing them for a just reason  (for an internal reason not an external motivation). A virtuous person doesn’t feel pleasure or pain at certain things an un-
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This note was uploaded on 12/10/2010 for the course PHIL 1 taught by Professor Fountain,m during the Winter '09 term at McGill.

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Moral Philosophy - MoralPhilosophy 15:32

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