(Foot 1972: 311). Morality and its standards are often assumed to be 'intrinsically' motivating, and this is how they regulate society's behaviour. (Prinz in Batson 2011:41). Yet Batson suggests rather than intrinsically motivating, we conform to the principles to avoid social and self-rewards, where we are viewed as morally good. Morality for Kant is determined by whether certain moral actions could be turned into a universal maxim.
Henry E. Allison (2004). Kant's Transcendental Idealism. Yale University Press. Henry E. Allison (1981). Transcendental Schematism and The Problem of the Synthetic A Priori.
He believed that ethical questions largely dealt with how we lived and naturally affected our actions. Aristotle further divided his thought on ethics into two categories, intellectual virtue and moral/social/political virtue. With respect to his views on moral virtue, Aristotle developed a doctrine that showed that virtue is staying in the mean, the doctrine of the mean. “The moral virtue is a mean…” (Aristotle 109). This doctrine claimed that having the right amount of a characteristic would be virtuous and most often is in between having too much or too little of ... ... middle of paper ... ...n, remember that there are two types of virtues, moral and intellectual.
For Aristotle, “the highest good is happiness; and that consists in the actualization and perfect practice of goodness” (Aristotle 1328a). If goodness consists in action, then one who achieves human goodness must possess a certain level of ability to plan his life, which Aristotle refers to as “the faculty of deliberation” (1260a). This type of ability to reason, however, is not a quality possessed by all, and Aristotle characterizes those who lack it as being “a slave by nature,” arguing that they must “provide bodily assistance in satisfying essential needs” (Aristotle 1254b). For these people, Aristotle argues, “slavery is the better and just condition,” because, by providing the essential needs for someone who does not possess a servile nature, they are contributing to and thereby participating in the goodness that is achieved by those who are capable of critical thought (Aristotle 1254a). Aristotle argues that human goodness is exemplified in political organization and action, which is something that only be achieved by those with the right nature.
Aristotle seems to believe that using this reasoning correctly, will involve humans going out into society to learn about the virtues. The virtues, like courage, do not come already prepackaged in the correct amount humans need. Humans have to find out how much courage they need and they do this by using their reason. They have to go out into society, use their reasoning correctly, determine the correct amount of virtue, and by performing this function correctly, they can aim at the true good which is happiness. This empirical approach affects Aristotle’s theory because it tries to outline the balanced character of humans with the virtues.
Cambridge UP 2000. Dryer, P. D.: Kant’s Solution for Verification in Metaphysics. Allen & Unwin, London 1966. Gardner, Sebastian: Kant and the Critique of Pure Reason. Routledge, London 1999.
There are many ways to approach morality, virtue ethics being one in which Aristotle went about evaluating how moral dilemmas are reached rather than just the outcomes. Ethical navigation approaches, acknowledge that humans are complicated beings and that our existence and purpose really isn’t known or exactly provided for us. It is up to us to determine for ourselves how to go about evaluating our lives and its purpose and what our responsibilities are, in order to live ethical lives. Aristotle discovered that his theory in approaching this dilemma relies on virtue ethics where virtue is a state of being and when we possess the right virtues we are able to live well and successfully. We are all trying to find our own ways of navigating through life and discovering the importance of what lies at the end.
Also, if we look very closely at the notion of a "flourishing life," we will find that instead of helping us determine what the virtues are, it actually begs the question, since the flourishing life already contains value judgements. The very idea of a flourishing life is a normative concept. That of course was the original question: what are the standards by which we ought to live our lives? The virtue ethicist told us that we could avoid this quest... ... middle of paper ... ...lise moral principles simply by doing the morally good deed and through the action itself come to understand its value and begin to desire it. However, virtue theory offers a great deal to moral psychology -it tells us how we in fact learn moral principles.
Aristotle also provides his view of what the best life is and consists of, however, it is illogical to identify a single sort of the best life for everyone, as it should be relative to each person in different ways. Also, the life of study, which is the best life according to Aristotle, is not the only type of life that will bring about happiness. The best life of someone who is ill versus someone who is poor will be different in terms of what it consists of and the happiness it will bring. Aristotle believes that eudaimonia or happiness is the ultimate good and that the best life is guided by rational contemplation; while it is true to say that happiness is the supreme good, Aristotle incorrectly argues that the best life is a life of study and provides an objective account of the good life which does not hold for all. While happiness is the ultimate good, Aristotle establishes the best life and incorrectly claims that the life of study is the best life for everyone, but it is crucial to first determine how Aristotle connects eudaimonia with human function and virtue.
A good life worth living in my opinion requires serving and meeting the needs of others, as well as myself. We are expected to give unselfishly to our associates, friends, neighbors and family for good moral cause because it is purposeful in the end. What would we reap from merely relying on our sole actions and how would that selfishness benefit us as a whole in society? This is where Kant and Nietzsche disagree on the definition of what is considered a good life, what is considered moral and who has the worth to decide upon it. I will begin with Kant, as he was the first to develop his theory of morality.