Aristotle A Comprehensive View On Nature And — страница 2

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things try to achieve completeness, full actuality, or perfection; this implies that there must exist an object or state towards which this striving or desire is directed. This object or state is the ?Unmoved Mover.? This state of perfection must be one of pure actuality since it can have no potential, being perfect; it must be non-natural since all natural things have potential. Thus, it is not moving, yet moves other things to attempt to achieve perfection; this thing is the final cause of the universe. Knowing, now, that which moves all natural things towards the goods, we can begin the analysis on Aristotle’s ethical system. In investigating Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics, it is important to remember that just like the Physics, it is a teleological view, not on the

natural world, but on human nature, the end (telos) of which is the ?good.? Everything that humans do is aimed at some end; this end is can either have intrinsic or extrinsic worth. This is to say that the acts of humans can either be done for themselves (intrinsic) or can be done as a means to something else (extrinsic). The underlying goal of all our action, Aristotle calls the ?good?, but along with the ?good,? comes happiness. For Aristotle, then, all human are just trying to be happy. The good life, then, is a life of happiness; Aristotle says such a life can be achieved by excellence (arete) in two areas of virtue: intellectual and moral. First, we will have to analyze moral virtue in order to understand fully the notion of intellectual virtue. More or less, for Aristotle,

the life of moral virtue, not being an exact science, is a life of moderation. This is a common theme with most all the ancient philosophers and authors (especially the playwrights). It is practical wisdom which is not ?a priori,? but rather it is a learned trade which varies from situation to situation; it can not be taught, it must be learned from experience. What, then, exactly is moral virtue? It is acting in accordance with our nature and our striving towards the ?good,? by means of moderate actions is everyday life. Knowing this practical type of reason, we can now examine the theoretical type of reason, intellectual virtue. Happiness is an activity, it is not a passive state for Aristotle. It is our potential which allows us to be motivated by the concept of the ?Unmoved

Mover,? towards a state of perfection or perfect happiness. In order to achieve this state, a human, according to Aristotle, must partake in an activity which is both sought for intrinsic purposes and is in itself perfect. Intellectual virtue is this activity. It is a theoretical principle which each person knows ? a priori;? it is the act of doing what is most natural for all humans to do, to reason. It is our nature according to Aristotle, to reason, and it follows that if we achieve the perfectness or excellence (arete) in our nature, we achieve perfect happiness. Specifically, for Aristotle, the best way to come close to achieving the perfect ?good? is to act as a seeker of truth. The philosopher is the way to go according to Aristotle; ?Philosophical thoght is the way to

consummate perfect happiness, but it doesn’t pay well.? 370