Epicurus fails to define the boundaries of moral virtue, merely stating there could be harmful consequences without specific definition, Epicurus ultimately fails to develop a strong moral program. Aristotle questions the morality of pleasure and peoples’ intentions. He insists that there are other pleasures besides those of the senses, and that the best pleasures are the ones experienced by virtuous people who have sufficient resources for excellent activity such as the “man who has been educated in a subject and there for her is a good judge of that subject” (25). The philosopher states that pleasure is not to be desired for its own sake but rather that it stimulate the action of a healthy nature. He specifically argues that, “happiness must be explained in terms of reason…happiness depends on the actualization—the full realization—of one’s rationality” (22).
Once the foundations of the Republic are built and glued we can see that justice in the city is not only good but willingly practiced. Later Socrates aims at describing justice in the individual. He intentionally mirrors the creation of the city by saying that justice in the person is built on foundations of education of the body and mind. However, Socrates fails to provide me with enough evidence to believe that justice is better than injustice in the individual for all matters.
Unlike ethical subjectivism which is when people act on what feels good or what they believe is right for them. For example, not studying for an exam to go out with friends might be what a student wants to do but it is not in his or her best interest. Hedonism is similar to ethical egoism but like ethical subjectivism, is uses pleasure as a means of value. Hedonism is the belief that pleasure is a person’s best self-interests. Also, ethical egoism is not the same as egotism.
Lao Tzu was another great philosopher around the time of Confucius who had a different take on life. Although he is attributed with the writing of Tao-Te Ching, he rarely wrote his ideas down because he wanted his philosophy to be passed on in a natural way, to live life with goodness, serenity, and respect, and feared that if it were to be written down it would become an official doctrine of which people followed, rather than a natural occurrence. He had no code on which one should behave, because he believed that good should be governed by instinct and conscience. Both Confucius and Lao Tzu strived to spread good and virtue to the people, but each had different ideas and methods on how to do so. Confucius preached to act with virtue, while Lao Tzu wanted people to have virtue without necessarily presenting it.
Socrates believed that people should evaluate their lives and become ethically responsible. He often considered people should not seek money or power but to become morale correct in society. One of Machiavelli’s famous quote: “It is better to be feared than loved.” He believed that leaders should do anything necessary to gain and maintain power. How can two people with opposite moral have the same ethical beliefs? Socrates and Machiavelli were both humanist philosophers.
The weakness of Virtue Ethics outweighs its strengths – Discuss. Virtue ethics is the ethics of us as persons and argues that morality is not about duties. There are a number of arguments for and against virtue ethics, and most for, argue for the formation and growth of us via phronesis or practical wisdom, which allows us to make the right decisions by using our conscience. Virtue ethics is mainly supported by Aristotle. It is based on different virtues that a person should have, so that they can then reach Euadamonia.
Values are strongly held beliefs about what is right and wrong, what is good and bad, what is worth fighting for and fighting against, what is worth having and not having, who is worthy of respect and support and who is not. Value free research is research that is free from the values of the researcher. Research that is objective. Sociologists study society as a social science, however scientists would argue that its status as a science is challengeable compared to their study of the natural world. The founding Fathers of Sociology believed that an objective, value-free science of Sociology was both possible and desirable.
Intellectual virtues concern only what Aristotle describes as the rational part of the soul, whilst moral virtues involve both the rational and desiring part of the soul. Moral virtues are excellences of character, acts and feelings. Moral virtues encompass retaining passions under rational control. One is taught intellectual virtue however one is habituated to moral virtue. Accordingly, one is not born with moral virtues; however it is natural for one to acquire moral virtues by repetition of the corresponding acts.
First I have to say that I hold Philosophers in general including Plato in the highest regard, and I do agree with Plato on that Philosophers would make the best rulers. Having that said, I do find his ideas on “morality” and more specifically who the “moral” person is, very much unrealistic. In the world Plato paints with his analogies in The Republic, such “moral” persons might exist, but in reality I find it hard to believe. I do however agree with him on one point and that is: it is better to be moral than immoral; on everything else I lean more in favor with Glaucon. In The Republic, Glaucon Plato’s brother plays the “devil’s advocate” and claims that being “immoral” is more beneficial than being “moral”.
The view behind this thought process is utilitarianism, and at first glance, there seems to be little to argue about. If morality is about choosing the good course of action, then what can be better than happiness? Certainly from the utilitarian viewpoint, the requirement for a moral act is that it is good for other people. The problem is that 'happiness' is a very subjective word, the weight of which is hard to pin down. Firstly, it is impossible to measure, and secondly no one is able to correctly judge the amount of happiness promulgated by any one action, primarily due to the fact that the full extent of the future cannot currently be known until it happens.