Bus 405 The Aim of Man
Please click the "Back" button on your browser to return to the previous page. We have been discussing moral principles, and more specifically, moral values upon which those principles are based. We have looked into the values of freedom, justice, and welfare. In each case, the meaning of each of those terms is somewhat dependent upon what it is we are trying to achieve. What should be our goal? Where should we be heading? What should our focus be? Aristotle in "The Aim of Man," is trying to provide us with some guidance in this matter. As you read, you will note that in Aristotle's view, there is nothing more noble, nothing more fulfilling, nothing more important, than statecraft, or government service. His ideal, that for which each of us should strive, is "the good." We might be able to agree with him that all things (and people) strive for "good," but aren't there exceptions? Don't some people seem to aim for evil? He goes on to argue that "Wherever there are certain ends over and above the actions themselves, it is the nature of such products to be better than the activities." He is saying that the ends are better than the means. Do you agree? Primacy of Statecraft
Here Aristotle is telling us to set a high goal and strive for it. Everything we do, our entire focus, should be with that goal in mind. Once again, he argues that the highest good, or the goal for which we should aim, is serving mankind. Two Observations on the Study of Ethics
In the first paragraph, he is arguing that only the educated will be able to accept his "general" reasoning. He goes on to argue, in the second paragraph, that we can only judge things which we know about (this would rule out the arguments of those among us who argue only for arguments sake or those who argue about areas in which they have little or no knowledge). He also believed that experience was a great teacher and that experience was something the very young would not have. ...
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