Friday, March 13, 2015
The main distinction the ancient Greek philosophers make about desires and impulses for good things is: what appears good for us and what is actually good for us. By replacing the word good with value, we know that not everything valuable to us has value. Our self –interest is achieving what is truly good and not simply getting what we want. To treat others well, not as a means to further selfish interests, but for their own sake. The overriding good is the greatest good, the highest good, the best good, the summun bonum, happiness that is still debated today. The highest activity in humans is thinking, and the highest form of thinking is theoretical or contemplative thinking about God. Plato insists on universal definitions of individual virtues. Wisdom, Justice, Temperance, and Courage. Plato emphasizes that the overriding good is in everything that is good for human life and that will satisfy all our impulses and desires: a combination of prudence and pleasure. The highest good in human life lived and not on reflection. Aristotle agrees with Plato that the overriding good will have to be “final”
( teleion) and “self-sufficient” (autarkes). Aristotle says there are three goods: external goods, goods of the soul and goods of the body”. The highest good includes pleasure, prudence, health and financial resources. The starting point for Greek Virtue Ethics is “principle” (arche) The four characteristics of the (arche) 1. Rooted in human nature, 2. Human beings desire an overriding good, the summum bonum.3 Seeking the overriding good is very personal.4 That humans are beings of desire and that we must complete our lives and be successful at living life itself. The overriding good of Greek ethics is happiness ( eudaimonia).