Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Aristotle's Ethics an Education
Aristotle was a Greek , student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. He is a author of great philosophycal book “THE ETHICS”. Aristotle considered Ethics to be a practical rather than theoritical study i-e one aimed at becomming good and doing good rather than knowing for its own sake. Aristotle thought that virtues has to do with the proper function of a thing . An eye is only a good eye in so much so it can see . Because the proper function of eye is sight. Aristotle reasoned that human must have a function specifict o humans and that this function must be an activity of the of soul in accordance with reason.
Nicomaclean Ethics is a philosophycal inquiry in to the nature of the good life for human being.aristotle started his philosophycal thought by pointing the idea that there is some4 ultimate good and humans every actio is trowards it or to acheive it. This is the actual hapiness. Some of the nessesary charecterstics of this ultimate good are that it is complete , final, self sufficientand contineous. This good towards which implicitly and explecility all human actions are directed is happiness in Greek “euaimonia” which can be translated as blesedness or living well. It is not the statistic state of being bu a type of activity. VIRTUE for him is not simply an isolated action but a habit of acting well. For an action to be virtous a person must do it delberately, knowing what he is doing because it is noble action. The virtuous action is a mean between two extremes. It has to be said that Prudence is necessary for ethical virtue by which a person is able to determine the mean specific to each situation.
Only voluntry action can be virtuous. An action done through fear is nly partially voluntry and an action done through ignorance may have different degree of voluntryness. A proper intentionis necessary for virtuous action Intention is not a desire , a wish or an opinion. It is some thing deliberate and is adopted with full reasonor thought. One can only intend some thing which one has a power to do. The actions whoes purpos ea re with in the completiton of that action then thoes actionsa re virtuous. Such as if the mother is feeding her child then her destingy or purpose is just to fee d the child properly. Same as sleeping, eating and doing house hold chores are all virtuous action having the purpose just to accomplish the task properly. The first virtue which Aristotle have discussed is bravery. It is a mean between rashness and cowardice. For the right reason, at right time and in the right manner the brave man face the fear. He never ever left the noble purpose just to make the others happy.
The next virtue is temperence. It is a mean with regard to bodily pleasure.Temperence keep the desiring part of the soul in harmony with reason.
Generosity is the fourth virtue examined by Aristotle . It is a mean between wastefullness and stinginess. Generous man give the right amount, at right time and in right manner. Generosity is not depend onthe amout whcich you give but it is depend on how much you have and now much you given. The famous story of Hatim Tayi is the best example of generosity.
The mean between ostentation and meanness is munificence. The munificence man spent lavishly and largely for the noble purpose without calculating the cost.
The fifth virtue which aristotle disscussedd and called the peak of virtue is Magnanimity. It is a mean between low minded and vain. The magninamous man claims and deserve great honour. The one who claim honour but doesn’t deserve is vain and one who deserve honour but doesn’t claim is low minded. So it is better to be vain than low minded because vanity can be improved by life experience. The magninamous man shows how good the virtuous life is.
Some other virtues are ambition it is balance between too little and too much. Good Temper is the virtue which is the mean between irascibility and bitterness. The irascibill man get angry very quickly and in a very short time he forget it while bitter holds anger for a lonner period of time. In contract to this the temperate man get angry on the right occasion, with the right people, at the right time and for the right length of time.
The next fewvirtues are
· Friendliness mean between flttery and quarrelsomeness
· Truthfulness mean between boast fullness and depreciation
· Wit the mean between humour and amusement
· One of the major virtue which includes many other virtues is Justice. It is a combination of honour ,property and safty. Natural justice is that wich is just in all time and places. Conventional justice is that which is made up of laws and customs. Justice is the virtue which is spritual in nature, it is beyond human approach even laws conn’t define all circumstances and situations. All laws are to some extent just because any law is better than no law.
· Prudence is the virtue which give an ability to choose what is virtues mean in specific situation. It is intellectual virtue of practical situation.
· Friendship is a part of good life. There are three types of friendship
Based on usefullness, based on pleasure and based on virtue. The friendship based on virtue is genuine. The relationship one has with friend is like the harmonious relationship betweeen th edifferent parts of the soul of virtuous man.
Law and proper education is nesessary specially for young people to develop as virtuous man. As it was mentioned earlier that virtus are of two type ethical and intellectual. Ethical virtues we have diccussed a lot now lets talk about intellectual virtues. Through ethical virtues we will move to intellectual virtue. The soul has two parts rational and non rational. Rational part can again be divided in to two parts the scientific and estimative. There are five things by which the soul may posses truth,art,knowledge (scientific)prudence, wisdom and intuition.
Art is considered with production not with action. Prudence is a dispoition with true reason, while science knowledge is unversal, prudence and ethical values are inseperable, they are two side of the same coin. Wisdom is connected to prudence as health is to medicine. In short the prudent man considers how wisdom is acquired and priscribes his action in order to acquire it.
IMPLICATIONS IN EDUCATION:
Personality is the combination of inner thoughts and outer behaviour. Inner mental abilities can be developbed with the inter action of our religious belives and philosophy. Virtues are the part of our religious belives as well as philosophy of life. Every religion ,, every custom and every philosophy talked about some universal ethical values.The peak of these ethical values are virtues. As Aristotle’s philosophy talked about the virtues are the mean between two extremes, bravery is a virtue between rashness and cowardness, generosity is the mean between wastefulness and stininess and in the same way magnanimity is the mean between low minded and vain. Virtue can’t be injected in the personality. It has genetic nature but by providing good education we can make them more virtues. Good laws and regulations makes the person virtues. By providing challenging educational activites and creative skills we can develop virtuoes attitude among our Pakistani generation.
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