3rd exam - Third Exam Study Guide*Aristotles Nicomachean...

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Third Exam Study Guide *Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics Book I Virtue ethicist 1.) What is the ultimate good (also the ultimate telos or end) of human beings, according to their nature as a certain kind of creature? Explain the relationship of the ultimate end to intermediate ends with respect to motivation. (7 points). -Human nature is the key to ethics/Rational animality a. Aristotle views Human Nature as the key to ethics. Rational animals (soul, body), Generalize laws. Language. Risibility (potential to laugh), Courage, Justice, ect. b. Everyone pursues “happiness” (eudaimonia- good spirit; human flourishing) as their final cause. –first cause = motivation. 1. means to an end: class, degree, jobs, money, ect. 2. Ends in themselves: family, recreation, learning, scholarship. 3. THE final end: All ends in themselves jointly constitutive of Human Flourishing. 2.) Explain the ‘Function Argument,’ which defines the function of human beings. -Anything that is living has a function/ a race horse’s purpose is to win a race/a human’s function is to be rational and make use of their soul that they have. And when a human uses activity of the soul a human can then become virtuous. Prudence; ability to choose which virtues to use at any point in time EX; a firefighter is in a burning building and has the ability to not take out a table of wine and cheese; this is prudence which allows him to not do this and save people in the burning building. a. Anything that has a proper function ( ergon , lit. “work” or “thing done”) is judged by how well it performs that function. For example, the function of a shoemaker is to make shoes, and he is judged as a shoemaker by how well he does so. b. Does man (human beings), simply as man, have a function? Yes. It would be absurd to suppose that man “was left by nature a good-for-nothing without a function” (1097b30). c. What is this function? Since it is the specifically human function, it will be something that man does not share with plants or animals. That rules out nutrition, growth, and the life of sense perception. d. The remaining choice is “an active life of the rational element” ( practike tis tou logon echontos ) (1098a2). Since a proper function is a kind of activity, Aristotle emphasizes that he means activity governed by the rational element, and not mere possession of it. e. This result is summarized in the following definition: the proper function of man is “activity of the soul in conformity with reason” ( yuchs energeia kata logon ) (1098a7). f. Now we can apply to man the general rule stated by (1). The good for man is simply that which is exhibited by someone who performs the specifically human function well. In general, “if a function is performed
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well it is performed in accordance with the excellence ( arete ) appropriate to it” (1098a14). g.
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3rd exam - Third Exam Study Guide*Aristotles Nicomachean...

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