My Jot Notes How can I speak about the GOOD universally? OBJECTIVE or ESSENTIALISM: There is a truth, or a good (which we can try to find and discover). In ESSENTIALISM the truth (or good) exists a priori or before we think about or discern it. The truth does not depend on us. SUBJECTIVE or EXISTENTIALISM: All truth and goodness is relative (i.e. “it all depends”) In EXISTENTIALISM the truth (or good) is a posteriori or only after we think about it or discern it. In existentialism, the individual defines everything. (We’ll look at this again when we examine some worldviews…) Are you an objective or subjective thinker? Aristotle: 384-322 BCE Aristotle’s unifying belief in his philosophy is that everything has a goal or end (Greek: telos) Hence the name teleological ethics. So for Aristotle, the “good” was the end or goal of a particular object. For humans, Aristotle claimed this end: All people seek to be happy. Do you agree with Aristotle? Does humanity need a goal? If so, what is it? Aristotle’s Argument • Every thing has a final cause, the good at which it aims, and Aristotle argued that since there cannot be an infinite regress of merely extrinsic goods, there must be a highest good at which all activity ultimately aims. This end or goal of life for humans could be called happiness (or living well), of course, but what is it really? Answer this question for yourself! According to Aristotle, things of any variety have a characteristic function that they are properly used to perform. The good for human beings, then, must essentially involve the entire proper function of human life as a whole, and this must be an activity of the soul that expresses genuine virtue or excellence.
Do we need “virtue or excellence” to achieve happiness? GOOD AND EVIL: A Starting Point from Aristotle GOODNESS = EXISTENCE Good and existence are the same thing; good is not something added to existence, goodness is existence. Everything that is, is good simply because it is...
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