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GOODNESS Plato and the Form of the Good and Aristotle and Goodness and Function.

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Presentation on theme: "GOODNESS Plato and the Form of the Good and Aristotle and Goodness and Function."— Presentation transcript:

1 GOODNESS Plato and the Form of the Good and Aristotle and Goodness and Function

2 Objectives  By the end of the lesson:  You will understand Plato’s Form of the Good and World of the Forms  You will understand Aristotle’s concept of the Good  You will have thought about the motives behind actions and whether or not they are based in self-interest

3 Recap  So far we have learnt that:  Our function is reason  To achieve this function we must act virtuously which we do by taking the middle path  For both Plato and Aristotle this knowledge will enable us to reach the good – and that is our true self-interest

4 Recap on Plato’s Form of the Good  We have already seen that both Plato and Aristotle believe the good is eudaimonia – to be happy, to flourish and to lead the good life. We should not follow hedonistic pleasures  For Plato we cannot understand what is truly good by studying this world, for example by looking at those we admire, or by looking at to past heroes and how they behaved  Plato believed this world was an imperfect copy of another more perfect world, and that everything in this world had a more perfect form in the other world – THE WORLD OF THE FORMS

5 Plato’s Cave Analogy  Plato offers a powerful and well-known analogy to help understand the difficulties of grasping the world of the forms, as he describes the journey of a man from a world of shadows at the bottom of a cave (which represents the everyday physical world) up through the cave out into the blinding sunlight (which represents the world of the forms) 

6 The Good  So for Plato, in order to flourish, our reason needs first to be in control of our soul, and it must then turn us in the right direction: towards pursuing the right ends.  We must use reason once again to make an intellectual journey towards understanding the form of the Good

7 Aristotle and the Good  Unlike Plato, Aristotle did not believe in any mysterious world of forms and considered it to be an unrealistic and flawed philosophical view  He argued instead that there was no single ‘form’ of the Good – instead there are many ‘goods’  The good for humans does not lie in some mystical dimension, but lies within our grasp in the activities and projects of our daily lives

8  Whilst Plato thought that once we had grasped the Good then its power is such that from then on we can only what was right, Aristotle held a more realistic view that we can know what is good, but fail to do so because we are weak-willed

9 Your Thoughts  Which do you think is a better assessment so far?  Which do you hope is the right assessment?

10 Goodness and Function  When we looked at function we learnt that Aristotle thought a ‘good’ thing is one that fulfils its function  But we also need to strive for the Good and reach Eudaimonia  Do you think simply fulfilling our ‘function’ would be enough to do this?

11 How Can We Be Good, Aristotle?  Aristotle held a teleological view of the universe (this means he believes that everything, and in particular living things, has a purpose)  Applying this teleological view to humans we can identify our good by identifying what we are for and then becoming good at that.

12 Becoming a ‘Good’ Person  So being virtuous, which means being functionally good (a good human being) also means that we reach the ‘good’ and so lead a fulfilling and flourishing life  This means striving to develop myself as a good person, striving to shape my desires so that they are good for me, and striving to achieve those goals I set and the ambitions I have  Can you see any potential problems with this?

13 Role Play Task  In groups of 3 or 4 prepare the role play on your task card.  Be sure to also consider your motives as stated on the card  You will have some time to prepare this in your groups and then you will be performing it to the rest of the class who will try to guess your motives.


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