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Aristotle’s model of practical reasoning: what is the final end? in what respect is it final?
Aristotle’s model of practical reasoning is basically; it’s the way we go about deciding what to do. The final end is when one comes to the outcome that is most satisfactory.
Instrumental vs. intrinsic desires or aims
Intrinsic desires are yearnings that are good in themselves, or standalone quality. Instrumental desires and aims refer to those which hold no standalone value: they can only lead to other desires.
Aristotle’s definition of the human good/happiness in I.7
Aristotle states that humans are the only species and intellectual beings that can order their desires in a strategic manner, and delay their gratification until a later time. We possess the only “good” that can resist pleasure temptations.
Eudaimonia, ergon, logos, aretê
Eudamonia : ”human flourishing” sometimes translated to “happiness” most often referred to as “highest human good.”
Logos: reasoned discourse.
Arete: virtue, being the best you can be
The Ergon Argument
Happiness : activity of the soul exhibiting excellence/virtue
Achieving excellence through the use of logos, doctrine of the mean, and through emulation of the phronimos
His definition of virtue/excellence in II.5-6
Aristotle’s definition of virtue/excellence is achieved through someone making a rational choice which also happens to be the correct one, through logos. Also, one has to follow the doctrine of the mean to achieve virtue/excellence.
The role of the phronimos
The role of the phronimos is being an exemplary agent, that the rest of humanity can try to emulate. They are the basis of our moral education.
Aristotle’s explanatory aims: the important methodological statement in I.3
His goal is to clarify, not define what is virtuous. He is not trying to start an argument that runs in a paradoxical loop, but instead he is trying to make things clearer.
Doctrine of the mean vs. doctrine of moderation
The doctrine of the mean is a creed where one always takes the “best” or correct actionThe doctrine of moderation is a creed where one always takes the average, or middle option. i.e. take the path of least resistance, always play it safe.
The six possible states of character, the four human ones
Superhuman virtue: always taking the correct action
Ordinary virtue: desire to do the correct thing, and do it
Self-controlled person: they have the desire to do something other than the right thing, but they still do the right thing.
Weak-willed, incontinent, akratic: knows what the correct course of action is, but doesn’t want to take it
Vicious person: doesn’t do anything right.
Brutishness: Incapable of moral judgment, similar to animals.
How virtue/excellence differs from the other states of character distinguished at VII.1
6 character types, virtue/excellence’s role in each
Aristotle on friendship; the kinds of friendship; why one is best
Utility: business associate, mailman, study partner. Relationship dissolves if the utility portion of the connection is lost.
Pleasure: sexual partner
Virtuous: when u really care for the other person
How his account of friendship completes his account of virtue
The part that you love in someone is the phronimos. Loving others involves attempting to make them into the phronimos.
Aristotle’s reply to the amoralist
Aristotle’s reply to the amoralist is that it is impossible for us to be human and not have any knowledge of moral values. Part of being human is having built into our minds the concept of morality, or right and wrong.
Is Aristotle a relativist?
No he is not. The right thing to do is the same for anybody. There is a worldwide ideal.
Socrates/Plato vs. Aristotle on akrasia
Aristotle says that akrasia IS possible, when there is a lapse in knowledge or judgment .Socrates and Plato believe there is no such thing as akrasia. They believe that wrong decisions are impossible,we always make whatever decision we deem “right.”
Can Aristotle’s solution account for clear-eyed weakness of will?
Something must have momentarily caused the person to forget what the correct path of action is. Aristotle states that we always know what is right.
MacIntyre’s definition of virtue
MacIntyre’s definition of virtue entails one that includes attributes that help you attain internal goods.
Internal vs external goods
In terms of goods, internal is much harder to attain.External goods include, knowledge, wealth, etc.Internal goodsare only attained after much investmentd in the activity or practice. In order to attain internal goods,one must practice
MacIntyre on traditions
Morality cannot be considered a rule book, since morals depend on the person’s upbringing. One has to accept Aristotle’s view.
The principle of utility
Things are right as long as they induce happiness or pleasure.
Utilitarianism: maximizing good consequences.
“the ends justify the means.” When a person only looks at the consequences when taking morality into play. Consequentialism doesn’t judge the actions taken to get to a certain point. In other words, two wrongs could make a right.
1. Consequentialism- Maximizing the best overall consequences
2. Hedonism – pleasure/avoidance of pain is the ideal
Mill’s argument for utilitarianism
Mill states that as humans, pleasure is all we have.
Psychological hedonism: in practice, people act to maximize their own pleasure
Ethical hedonism: we ought to maximize pleasure, and everyone’s pleasure is equally valuable.
The integrity objection to utilitarianism
Whichever choice produces the most good, you have to choose that route.
Killing the villager example.
Nozick’s experience machine
Nozick’s experience machine proves that simple pleasure is not enough – happiness is not the only end.
Kant’s anti-utilitarian conception of the priority of the right over the good
His is the opposite from utilitarianism. He says that the theory of the good comes first, as opposed to utilitarianism, which states that the theory of the right comes first.
The Categorical Imperative, in two formulations
Universal Law formulation: Lying and Stealing
Humanity-as-an-End-in-Itself: Treats humans as an end in their own right. It states that we don’t use people as a mere means to an end.
How the UL formulation elaborates the Golden Rule
The UL formulation is a counter-argument to the Golden Rule, since it states that it is not always logical or virtuous to “do onto others what you would want done to you.”
How Kant explains what’s wrong with acting in his four examples
1.Freeriding/lying promises: If these actions are universalized, or everyone takes part in them, then there is nullification, and there is no such thing as freeriding/lying promises.
Perfect vs. imperfect duties
Perfect duties are when one is absolutely forbidden,like murder. Imperfect duties can be thought of like developing our talents: we don’t all do it exactly the same way, but we still get it done. There are many ways to satisfy imperfect duties.
How the UL version of the CI entails the EI version
They are both different versions of the Categorical Imperative. In both cases, there is “respect for humanity.”
The Kantian basis for respect
Kant’s basis for respect states that utilitarianism isn’t the ideal basis for actions.
Kant points out that utilitarianism can wind up treating humans as a mere means to an end; it lacks humanity.
Nagel’s paradox of moral luck
Nagel’s paradox of moral luck refers to the fact that often times, we hold someone morally responsible for a series of actions or single action that they took, that led to a consequence of serious repercussions.
External: Every event is related to another by natural law.
-So every action violates to aspect of control.
Internal: The agent’s mind causes the agent to act. Agents make choices about what happens on Earth.
Meta-ethics – what it is
questioning the nature of moral reasoning. Reasoning about reasoning in terms of morals.
Cognitivism vs non-cognitivism
Cognitivism: There are moral facts of the world, independent of human reasoning and existence.
Non-cognitivism: Moral facts are non-existent , human thoughts lead to morals; they don’t occur naturally.
-to direct others behaviors
Mackie’s argument from relativity
It’s a compromise between cognitivism and non-cognitivism.
It states that it’s bizarre for morals to exist, since not everybody abides by them.
Mackie’s argument from ‘queernesss’
Scientific fact should line up with morals. Why is murder wrong? “Wrong” (the concept) is abstract. He says that there are no moral facts.
Dworkin’s replies to these arguments
Divergence of morals doesn’t mean there’s a moral “sure”ness. He says that as humanity, we probably haven’t discovered the TRUE morals yet, or that we don’t have it just right yet.
How Nagel can contribute to this debate
Morality vs. Science
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