September 5, 2012

Aristotle's Ideas

I feel that Aristotle is defining art as any activity that one practices or exercises for pure enjoyment or the good it can do to the body physically or mentally. This is done through knowing political science. If you know political science it is seen as the supreme good. He argues that politics is the most “authoritative” science and this is the one to know. He says that political science “lays down laws as to what people should do and what they should refrain from.” The aim of people should be the study of politics (moral nobility and justice). Aristotle believing that young people “are led by their feelings” is a misconception because he argues that people need to have experience to know political science and if that is the case, then that is to say that young people have not had a lot of experiences. Yes, the youth have not lived to see all their experiences, but some have seen more than a person twice their age. In cases where the youth have experiences before they have some years lived I feel that they have matured enough to not be led by their feelings. Aristotle’s views on happiness and good go hand in hand because having a “good life” is the same as what makes people happy.

The difference would be that happiness is an emotion and good is the state of the situation, but both are the goals for most individuals. When he brings in that Pythagoreans said that “one was good,” this struck me the most because I think it is safe to say that everyone’s definition of good differs depending on their values. I agree with his argument that “virtue is a greater good than honour” because “virtue is concerned with actions, and it is only voluntary. Honour comes from other people and not the individual, so it is not a choice to be honoured, being honoured comes from other individuals. Some actions are “compulsory to acts done for the sake of pleasure.” When committing an act one must know “the circumstances of the act and of the things affected by it.” Choice and virtue connect because choice is all about the person, whereas good is can be about the individual or the people. Choice is the “voluntary action preceded by deliberation,” which means the agent put thought into what they were doing. I believe that the “Ideal Good” comes from being internally happy and with that one can achieve all means of knowledge in political science.

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