Aristotle Ethics

Aristotle Ethics - March 11, 2009 Aristotle: - Was a...

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Aristotle: - Was a student of Plato - 43 years Plato’s junior - Born in 384 BC died in 322 BC - Father was a doctor- Aristotle is beholden to the empirical method - Plato’s school was called the Academy; Aristotle came to Athens as a young man, and studied here. Remained a member of the Academy his entire life. - Eventually broke with Plato - Founded the Lyceum- his own school dedicated to every branch of knowledge - Essentially investigated every field of knowledge - Eventually fled Athens because his life was threatened and he was afraid of being arrested. Feared Athens would commit a second sin against philosophy. Soon after that he died N. Ethics: - Stands apart from his other works - Gateway to the other works with politics - Politics is an extension of ethics, they are connected. - * Aristotle does not write synthetic treatises. Politics and ethics are connected but disconnected at the same time. Proceeds by studying each discipline. Does not write a synthetic work like Plato. - We don’t know why it’s called such. N. may have been the first editor or the man whom the work was dedicated to. But we don’t know. - Not a polished work. Somewhat fragments. Essentially a collection of Aristotle’s lecture notes. Not terribly poetic. Like our social sciences today. Probably a copy of Aristotle’s lecture notes. Probably intended to be elaborated on aurally, as he gave the lecture. - Argues from the very first sentence, “ every craft and every investigations and likewise every action and decision seems to aim at some good hence the good has been well described of that at which everything ends.”…Suggesting that all living activities in this world are oriented towards a telos or end that is proper to us. The end of something is essentially its purpose. The acorn is the classic example he gives. The telos of an acorn is to become an oak tree. Aristotle is suggesting that his own investigation with its own telos or end, which is for the good. - Argues that there’s a specific kind of scientific of political life that deals with the goods or ends that are crucial to politics. Political science. Arguing that’s there a political science, which is in some sense guided by ethics, which concerns the goods or ends of the city-state. These are the object of political science and are the ends, which define the community as a whole. Political science guided by ethics is the superior science. Superior to generalship, domestic economics, rhetoric. o Economics may have risen superior over political science in today’s society. Aristotle’s claim may be very foreign to us. - Calls the person who legislates the ends of the city-state the legislator. The true politician, the authentic politician. Little bit like the founders of the constitution. -
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This note was uploaded on 09/16/2011 for the course PSC 105 taught by Professor Winstead during the Spring '09 term at GWU.

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Aristotle Ethics - March 11, 2009 Aristotle: - Was a...

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