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Aristotle Happiness, Virtue, and The Golden Mean

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1 Aristotle Happiness, Virtue, and The Golden Mean
Philosophy 100 Aristotle Happiness, Virtue, and The Golden Mean

2 Aristotle, B.C. Studied 20 years with Plato at The Academy, starting at age 17. Born to Nicomachus, a physician, in Macedonia. Founded his own school the Lyceum, known as Peripatetic (walking place).

3 Aristotle He tutored Alexander the Great when Alexander was a young teen. Aristotle was charged with impiety in Athens, and left to live in Chalcis, in the eastern Agean sea, and established a new school on the island of Lesbos, teaching women philosophy.

4 Aristotle Aristotle preferred the physical, concrete, material world, and the senses. Biology was his primary subject. Truth for Aristotle is changing, imperfect, and living. Aristotle is called “The Father of Science”.

5 Aristotle Humans are political and social beings.
Moral action is possible only in society and community of our fellow humans. To be human is to live with other humans, and interaction. The idea of goodness is part of everyday, practical activity of human life.

6 Aristotle Aristotle’s approach is teleological, which means the connection between right action and the result or end of right action. The good, is “that which everything aims” in art and science. All of our actions have goals or aims. The end goal for humans is happiness.

7 Aristotle Happiness is an end in itself, never chosen as a means to something else. Happiness is practical, understandable. Happiness is final, self sufficient. Happiness is both particular and universal.

8 Aristotle Ideas, concepts, or forms do not exist outside of material objects. Knowledge can be found in the world of the senses, natural world, physical/material world. The unity of matter and the forms. Ideas cannot transcend matter.

9 Aristotle Principles and theories – knowledge of quality. (Abstract, universal) Causality – why something happens (Scientific) explains 3. Senses and Experiences – particular, concrete, immediate

10 Aristotle The world is constantly in a state of flux, change: motion/growth/decay/generation/corruption Change is a natural process and product of life. Everything is in process of becoming and dying.

11 Aristotle There are 4 causes: Formal – what a thing is
Material – that of which it is made Efficient – how and why it is made Final – teleos – the end purpose or goal For Aristotle there is no first mover or creator Morality is developed out of everyday life.

12 Aristotle “Happiness is an activity of the soul in accordance to reason.” Actualizing your highest potential for good using reason The soul is your mind or psyche Two parts to the soul: rational and irrational Irrational: nutrition, growth, common to all species – animalistic: connected with the body Rational: seeks the best, obeys principles, self control, self discipline – reason, humanity:mind

13 Aristotle Virtue: actualizing your highest potential for good using reason; deliberate choice in accordance with the mean; virtue is excellence, the best, the highest There is deliberate choice which implies human responsibility

14 Aristotle 2 types of virtue: Moral and intellectual
Moral Virtue: habits developed out of our nature through living life; adaptations: learn to do by doing: the practical everyday world; The mean between two extremes, habitual choice of actions between two vices: excess and deficiency

15 Aristotle The Golden Mean is the mean between two extremes, may be relative for each individual. Society sets our mean, by use of the law. Acts which have no mean and are intrinsically bad in and of themselves: Spite, Envy, adultery, murder, theft, lying

16 Aristotle Intellectual virtue: philosophic contemplation & wisdom, thinking, knowledge, takes time, experience – understanding A good life is a happy life, a good person is a morally virtuous person The ultimate life is happy, moral, and philosophic

17 Aristotle Aristotle recognizes deliberate choice in humans, which puts responsibility on humanity. There are voluntary and involuntary acts. Voluntary acts are acts based on deliberate choice and total human responsibility. Involuntary acts are acts from ignorance, poor teaching, external compulsion, or avoidance of a greater evil.

18 Aristotle 2 types of acts/choices:
Instrumental – acts done as a means for other ends, externalized Intrinsic – acts done for their own sake, internalized

19 Aristotle’s Golden Mean
EXCESS____mean________ DEFICIENCY moral virtue Honor/Vanity_proper pride__humility Confidence_____Courage____Fear Pleasure______temperance___Pain Give $_______liberality_____take $ Easy going_temperate__irascible/hot temper

20 Aristotle “the right action at the right time, to the right person for the right reason” This is knowing when you are morally virtuous

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