September 6, 2012

Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics: The line betwee

I thought this read was both difficult and interesting, especially because it is a transcribed speech that alluded to Aristotle's son's death. There were many messages to come from it, that being the nature of goodness, virtue, choice, and happiness. I chose to analyze the nature of virtue for one of my responses, but as the class went on, I found myself more interested in the nature of choice through discussion.

Aristotle transitions from his lecture on involuntary, voluntary, and non-voluntary acts, and what makes a man virtuous through his intentions from his actions. For example, a voluntary act is "an act of which the origin lies in the agent, who knows the particular circumstances in which he is acting (127)." He then states the nature of choice, which determines what makes an act voluntary or not. He states that choice is connected with virtue, but shouldn't be confused with desire, passion, wishes, and sometimes opinions. I thought his statement was interesting when he said that choice and voluntary actions aren't synonymous, where irrational animals do not display choice. So, he concludes that the object of choice is the object of deliberation, where "we deliberate in things in which our agency operates but does not produce the same results (137). Deliberation is put toward things where the outcome is uncertain, and we trust our deliberations to decide. 

I never thought of choice as something like this, but it makes sense. I can select to do things out of wishes or desires, but it doesn't make me a virtuous person when it comes to making the right choice after weighing out options. This, I think, ties the lecture together because it did seem to spin off into its philosophical theories, however, it comes together in the end to tie together the ends of such ethics. 

1 comment:

ca depend said...

Choice. To select.

Irrational. Latin.~ Of or relating to a metrical irregularity.

Metrical.~ ”pertaining to versification.” Is the metric of irrationality not conversation with self regarding an object as pleasant or painful?

Desire. Latin. ~Desiderare. “To long for wish for.. await what the stars will bring.”

Is not to choose desire the choice resulting from conversation, topiced by pain and/or pleasure, and the ‘end” or choice lies in what is fateful, by definition; that is unless one amongst us controls the stars; Is this not choice to be lead by what we do not control in some essence, but what truthfully leads us? And is there no thought, or rationale without regards to feeling. Does not a choice lean on how one will feel about its ‘end’?

“The irrational animals do not exercise choice, but they do feel desire, and also passion. Also a man of defective self-restraint acts from desire but not from choice; and on the contrary a self-restrained man acts from choice and not from desire. Again desire can run counter to choice, but not desire to desire. And desire has regard to an object as pleasant or painful choice has not.”

If desire has regard to an object as pleasant or painful .. is that not choice calculated?


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