He treats this as an easily understood phenomenon, and has no doubts about its existence. When two individuals recognize that the other person is someone of good character, and they spend time with each other, engaged in activities that exercise their virtues, then they form one kind of friendship.
In Book X, he makes the point that pleasure is a good but not the good. These are qualities one learns to love when one is a child, and having been properly habituated, one no longer looks for or needs a reason to exercise them.
But do I lose control of myself? His point is simply that although some pleasures may be good, they are not worth choosing when they interfere with other activities that are far better. The biological fact Aristotle makes use of is that human beings are the only species that has not only these lower capacities but a rational soul as well.
In this respect, Aristotle says, the virtues are no different from technical skills: Just as a big mouse can be a small animal, two big chapters can make a small book.
Book X offers a much more elaborate account of what pleasure is and what it is not. And so in a way Socrates was right. Behaving courageously will make the virtuous person happy and will be one part of living a generally good life.
The person who chooses to lead a political life, and who aims at the fullest expression of practical wisdom, has a standard for deciding what level of resources he needs: The answer to this question may be that Aristotle does not intend Book VI to provide a full answer to that question, Aristotle function argument rather to serve as a prolegomenon to an answer.
This does not mean that first we fully acquire the ethical virtues, and then, at a later stage, add on practical wisdom. Aristotle explains what he has in mind by comparing akrasia to the condition of other people who might be described as knowing in a way, but not in an unqualified way.
This is why Aristotle often talks in term of a practical syllogism, with a major premise that identifies some good to be achieved, and a minor premise that locates the good in some present-to-hand situation. One might object that people who are sick or who have moral deficiencies can experience pleasure, even though Aristotle does not take them to be in a natural state.
According to Aristotle, virtue is something learned through constant practice that begins at a young age. All free males are born with the potential to become ethically virtuous and practically wise, but to achieve these goals they must go through two stages: If, for example, one is trying to decide how much to spend on a wedding present, one is looking for an amount that is neither excessive nor deficient.
In Books II through V, he describes the virtues of the part of the soul that is rational in that it can be attentive to reason, even though it is not capable of deliberating. The courageous person, for example, judges that some dangers are worth facing and others not, and experiences fear to a degree that is appropriate to his circumstances.
He is vindicating his conception of happiness as virtuous activity by showing how satisfying are the relationships that a virtuous person can normally expect to have. In both the akratic and the enkratic, it competes with reason for control over action; even when reason wins, it faces the difficult task of having to struggle with an internal rival.
If what we know about virtue is only what is said in Books II through V, then our grasp of our ultimate end is radically incomplete, because we still have not studied the intellectual virtue that enables us to reason well in any given situation.
He insists that there are other pleasures besides those of the senses, and that the best pleasures are the ones experienced by virtuous people who have sufficient resources for excellent activity. The pleasure of recovering from an illness is good, because some small part of oneself is in a natural state and is acting without impediment; but it can also be called bad, if what one means by this is that one should avoid getting into a situation in which one experiences that pleasure.
This point is developed more fully in Ethics X. The impetuous person is someone who acts emotionally and fails to deliberate not just once or twice but with some frequency; he makes this error more than most people do. One could say that he deliberates, if deliberation were something that post-dated rather than preceded action; but the thought process he goes through after he acts comes too late to save him from error.
Aristotle indicates several times in VII. Even so, that point does not by itself allow us to infer that such qualities as temperance, justice, courage, as they are normally understood, are virtues. It consists in those lifelong activities that actualize the virtues of the rational part of the soul.
If we use reason well, we live well as human beings; or, to be more precise, using reason well over the course of a full life is what happiness consists in. Aristotle is quite clear that he does not think virtue can be taught in a classroom or by means of argument.
Taking pleasure in an activity does help us improve at it, but enjoyment does not cease when perfection is achieved—on the contrary, that is when pleasure is at its peak. Aristotle believed that the best way to understand why things are the way they are is to understand what purpose they were designed to serve.
If one lived in a community filled with good people, and cooperated on an occasional basis with each of them, in a spirit of good will and admiration, would that not provide sufficient scope for virtuous activity and a well-lived life?
Second, there is the idea that whenever a virtuous person chooses to perform a virtuous act, he can be described as aiming at an act that is in some way or other intermediate between alternatives that he rejects.
The arithmetic mean between 10 and 2 is 6, and this is so invariably, whatever is being counted. We will discuss these chapters more fully in section 10 below. He does not mean that the way to lead our lives is to search for a good man and continually rely on him to tell us what is pleasurable.The Argument 1 The good for humans is performing their functions well, if they have functions.
Presumably, however, to say that happiness is the chief good seems a platitude, and a clearer account of what it is is still desired. This chapter defends Aristotle's argument from these criticisms. Drawing on the account of form and matter in Aristotle's Metaphysics, it argues that “function” does not mean purpose but rather a way of functioning — how a thing does what it does.
Lesson 5: Aristotle: The Function Argument Presumably, however, to say that happiness is the chief good seems a platitude, and a clearer account of what it is is still desired. This might perhaps be given if we could first ascertain the function of man. Aristotle’s function argument EUDAIMONIA AND FUNCTION In Bk 1 of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle defines eudaimonia (living well) as the good (see the handout ‘Aristotle on Eudaimonia’).
It is our ‘final end’, and we never seek it for any other purpose. But this doesn’t tell us what eudaimonia is. Themes, Arguments, and Ideas The Teleology of Nature.
Teleology is the study of the ends or purposes that things serve, and Aristotle’s emphasis on teleology has repercussions throughout his philosophy. Aristotle devotes two of the ten books of the Ethics to discussing friendship in all its forms.
This is hardly a digression from the main line of argument. This is hardly a digression from the main line of argument.Download