Aristotle "being in act and being in power"

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The end of all action for Aristotle


Aristotle’s Definition of Happiness

·Happiness is knowing the right thing to do, at the right Time, in the right way

·The function of a human being

oTo live an active Life that expresses reason and to do it in accord with virtue

·Humans seek happiness because it is a self-sufficient good

·Happiness is the end of all action

Function Argument

·Human beings have a rational soul (the function)

oAristotle says there Is a function to a human being which is to reason

·The good of a thing lies in its function

·A human beings proper function is to reason

·The human good is achieved by reasoning well, therefore Happiness is achieved through reasoning well


·Virtue is understood through the functions one holds

oExcellent performance Of a function

oA good football Player – specifically good at their position

oA good chair – Supports someone, comfortable, designed well

Moral vs. Intellectual Virtues

·Moral virtues deal with desire, virtues of the animal Soul

·Intellectual virtues are the virtues of the rational Soul, understanding, knowledge, wisdom (theoretical reason) and practical Wisdom (practical reason)

Aristotle’s General Definition of Virtue

·Virtue is a disposition to act according to the mean Between excess and deficiency determined by reason as the person of practical Wisdom would determine


·Concerns the means to the end

·Does not concern universal truths

oHave no control of these

·Don’t deliberate the past

·Deliberate means to an end, ways in which we can attain Them

oThe way in which we Can be healthy

Practical Wisdom

·The virtue of practical reason

oInvolves good Deliberation

·Knowing the right way to pursue the ends

oThe end is determined By our character or appetites

Ignorance of the Universal vs. Ignorance of The Particular

·Ignorance of the universal

oUniversally or Generally acknowledged among people

§Don’t kill

·Ignorance of the particular

oParticular aspect of A situation that you did not know

§Ignorant of something In a particular situation

·Costing your friend the job after saying something you Regret

·Ignorance of the Universal does not make the action Involuntary and thus makes the action moral

oThe principle of the Action lies within the agent

oThere was no external Force

oThe agent is not Ignorant of any particular

Involuntary Action

·External force or ignorance

oThe cause is external And the agent contributes nothing

·Involuntary action involving ignorance must include Ignorance of the particular and pain/regret regarding the action


·Exclusively focused on men


·Theory that focuses on the few (minority)

oOnly a few can attain External goods to achieve happiness and virtue

·The happy life is available only to the few

oThe virtuous life Depends upon people providing the care, food and materials necessary for the Few to lead the best life

Motivations for Evil Actions for Augustine

·Evil in the act was the motivation

·To push god away in order to become God

·Classical motivations

oDesire, Fear,

Augustine and the Classical Tradition

·Classical account: doesn’t agree with Aristotle’s Account. Augustine says we sometimes do things just for the sake of them being Bad

Aquinas’ View on Happiness

·Worldly happiness which Aristotle speaks of as imperfect

·The ultimate end of action is eternal happiness

oRight relationship With God

Theological Virtues

·Corruption of human nature is original sin

·Faith, hope and charity needed to acquire happiness and Overcome original sin

Natural Law

-The dictates of reason that come from the human Participation in the eternal law

·Humans are subject to natural obligations derived from Reason

·Reason obliges one to act a certain way in order to Achieve an end

Eternal Law

·God represents the good which establishes the very idea Of good in humans

·Eternal law is God and is manifested in the order of the World and natural law

oMeans the ends of Animals, the order of the cosmos and the dictates of reason

Human Law

·Represent specific determinations of the natural law

·Meant to express natural law passed by governing bodies So that the end of man can be attained

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