Easter and Western Philosophers Comparison
The philosopher I chose was Aristotle and his philosophy of naturalistic ethics. He discerned that what was good for us was defined by our natural objective. To him, happiness was the thing that we seek for its own sake and for no other reason and that this being our highest objective makes it also the highest form of good. He reasoned that in order to find out what makes us happy we must consider our function, what we actually do as human animals. The text claimed that, for the most part, we do two things, live and reason, and so happiness consists of enjoying life and honing our ability to reason. As living creatures with biological needs, we receive pleasure by satisfying those needs. Eating food is enjoyable, sleeping and napping can ...view middle of the document...
The author went on to say that Aristotle felt that habit was tied to virtue, pertaining to the exercise of cognitive abilities I agree with, but claiming that virtue is a matter of habit I have doubts about.
The chapter went on to say that Aristotle spent a lot of time concentrating on different moral virtues because he believed they were the guide, we use to balance positive and negative extremes. Aristotle had many new thoughts and drew important distinctions in the field of moral virtue. He believed that a person’s pleasure would give insight into their moral character. Another thought attributed to Aristotle was that people do things for the sake of doing them or as a tool used to accomplish some other goal. The terms intrinsic end and instrumental end are used to describe them respectively. In Aristotle’s view the ultimate instrumental end was an enlightened society where people knew what their function was, what was best and good intrinsically and did things accordingly then man would be happy.
To sum up, Aristotle viewed morality as being tied to the material realm and human nature. His evidence was that our objective was happiness, that happiness was attained through pleasure. This pleasure came from the satisfying biological needs and desires as well as exercising our cognitive abilities. That moral good is therefore, derived from the natural world and tangible. Although I disagree with a few of Aristotle’s points, overall, his theory is the most sound one because it’s based upon something everyone can see and agree on. However, it is also very difficult to argue with Plato and his a priori arguments.
Moore-Bruder. (2008). Moral and Political Philosophy. In Moor-Bruder, Philosophy:The Power of Ideas,Seventh Edition (pp. 281,283). The McGraw−Hill Companies.