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Aristotle's versus Kant's Categories of the Temperate, the Continent, the Incontinent, the Vicious and the Bestial

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Describe Aristotle's categories of the temperate, the continent, the incontinent, the vicious and the bestial. Compare Aristotle's and Kant's evaluations of these kinds of people. Which of these people are morally better and which worse than the others?

Aristotle’s psychological types, as described in “Nichomachean Ethics,” are a categorization of different internal moral characters. These categories are a comprehensive attempt - for ancient philosophy - at identifying which internal psychologies manifest virtuous or morally bad behaviour. His moral categories are somewhat obsolete in a post-modern world, where science and politics are far more developed than in Ancient Greece. However, moral psychological ethics and normative debate still holds a relevant position in the moral undercurrent of society – it is dispersed through legal, political, military and medical activity, in relationships and familial function. It is for this reason, that Immanuel Kant examined a similar issue in “Pure Practical Reason and the Moral Law,” and that it still makes for interesting philosophical discussion.

Recent literature has aimed to reconcile the content of Kant and Aristotle’s work on morality, or at least, to compare the theories as though they are contending. However, I shall argue that the two philosophers are answering intrinsically different questions. If two philosophers operate within a precise domain of philosophy, it can be tempting to assess their distinct arguments as disagreeable with the other. However, in some cases, their arguments may be aimed at responding to different questions. In such instances, endeavors to reconcile or compare the fabricated ‘opposition’ between two arguments can be unproductive and perplexing, ...

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Klagge, JC 1989, Virtue: Aristotle or Kant? Virginia Tech Department of Philosophy, Web version accessed 14 May 2014.

Korsgaard CM 2008, From duty and for the sake of the noble: Kant and Aristotle on morally good action. In The Constitution of Agency, 174-206. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Originally published in Aristotle, Kant, and the Stoics, eds. Stephen Engstrom and Jennifer Whiting. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Kraut, R 2014, ‘Aristotle's Ethics’, The Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy (Summer Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), .
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