Character, Dignity, and Self-Respect of The Help
Michael A Davis
February 10, 2013
This paper will address the philosophies of Aristotle, Epictetus, and Saint Augustine and relate them to the movie The Help. Also this paper will relate each philosopher to the movie by, Aristotle: Ethics based on personal virtue, Epictetus: Ethics based on inner strength of the individual, and Saint Augustine: Ethics based on following a Divine Command. Each philosopher was born and lived in different time period before Christ and after Christ. However; there theories on good and evil are widely known and discussed. Aristotle lived from 384 to 322 B.C. and was a student of the great philosopher Pluto. His theory of happiness is defined “as functioning well. The function of a thing is its special kind of activity, what can do better than anything else. Thus, the function of human beings is the exercise of their capacity to reason. A capacity that enables a thing or a being to function well is a virtue” (Sommers and Sommers; 2013) Airstotle’s views on happiness was to find inner peace within one’s self. Epictetus lived from 55 to 135 AD and was born a slave who was later freed by his master who paid for his education. His views on ethics are based on inner strength of the individual. He thought all external events are determined by fate, and are thus beyond our control; we should accept whatever happens calmly and dispassionately. However, individuals are responsible for their own actions, which they can examine and control through rigorous self-discipline. Also Suffering occurs from trying to control what is uncontrollable, or from neglecting what is within our power. As part of the universal city that is the universe, it is our duty to care for all our fellow men. Those who follow these precepts will achieve happiness and peace of mind. “Epictetus tells us that regardless of circumstances, human beings are capable of dignity and...
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