Friday, January 11, 2008

Happiness, Function, and Virtue

All Human Activities Aim at Some Good
This "good" is a process of attaining an "end" to every action. These "ends" shift depending on the process such as good health being the "end" of medical practice.

Ethics is not an Exact Science
You can only accurately judge a subject you are familiar with without making general assumptions.

Different Conceptions of Happiness
One's own definition of happiness changes depending on the needs and wants of the moment. A poor person would say that having wealth is significant in attaining happiness and so forth.

There are three types of life: the sensual, the political, and the thought.

Characteristics of the Good
The good that we are searching for is - in essence - the end we are looking for...I think. I'm not understanding what Aristotle is saying here.

The Function of Man
Happiness is the supreme good. The function of man is the balance of virtue with life in being that we function with a soul in accordance with reason. But this assumes that animals, plants, and other living beings do not have souls. Isn't this subjective to say so?

Human Happiness
Some associate happiness with either good fortune or virtue. Aristotle is implying that children cannot be happy because happiness can only be attained from living a full and complete life. A happy person can never be miserable because the way to attain happiness is life in complete virtue. What does this mean, virtue?

Virtue and Habit

Virtue is intellectual and moral. Our virtues are created in our actions between other people. We must maintain a certain character in our activities and actions. Some moral virtues include temperance and courage.

Virtues and the Mean
We must shy away from too much or too little of any virtue such as being too cowardly or too courageous. Feeling the right emotion or doing the right action at the right time, for the right objects, for the right people, with the right motives, and in the right manner is said to be the best good and thus, virtue. There are other things that are never right in any amount and are deemed wicked such as hate, malice, and murder.

Practical Advise
Not everyone is good and not everyone can balance toward a mean. We must push ourselves away from the extreme. We also must on on out guard against pleasure because we are not impartial judges of pleasure. I guess this suggests that pleasure is not the answer to happiness and that virtue is the true course to the great good which then leads to happiness.

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