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Quid Est Veritas?

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Aristotle Returns (sort of) [Jul. 7th, 2006|12:02 pm]
Quid Est Veritas?



Hopefully the mention of Aristotle won't scare you all away...I know with what fond memories we look back upon the sessions of bashing our brains against the fortress of Ariwaddlemeister, but fear not: all brain bashing is now purely voluntary. 

My question is related to my last essay, in which I argued that Aristotle relied too much on making men good by habit. But among the comments I recieved in response, a question was brought up: is that reliance really an evil (I had assumed that it was)?. So my question is this: is the more virtuous man he who has been habituated to doing good until the good becomes natural, or he who has been forced to reason through and see why good is good, and then exercises his willpower upon that basis and from there does good? A question relating to that is: if a man does do good from habit, is that a bad thing (given that habit does not involve thought) if he has habituated himself through his own reason and willpower?

To start off (ignoring the last question), I'll assert that the second mode is better. I think that it corresponds more accurately with human nature (man being a rational animal), whereas the first is a more animalistic way of making a good product by (unintellectual) repetition. 

Three notes:
1) This may not be the exact question that was raised in the essay, but it's something I've been thinking about. So we really don't need to bring Aristotle into it at all (unless y'all are burning to...)
2) I know, there won't be much discussion until Emma at least (b/c I know she's interested in this topic) is a member...
3) Fie upon whatever cruel Fate dictated that MD be off in the rainforests when we need her here; I need someone to staunchly stick up for the other side (which she probably would) so I (and we) can better work through this...she had better check up and give her thoughts once she gets back from Brazil. 

Oh, and 4): I know this is convoluted. But any answer is great. ^_^


[User Picture]From: x_blackknight_x
2006-07-07 10:23 pm (UTC)
Sometimes methinks you are too verbose, Jessica. I had to read the question a few times before I understood what exactly you were saying and what your position was. And I am stil not entirely clear what hte question is. However, I shall proceed anyway.

To address your first question: I would agree with you that the man who reasons what is the good is the more virtuous since man is a (usually) reasoning creature and through discovering it himself, he is using his own will instead of blindly following.

However, I would not say that doing good from habit is a bad thing. Sure, it isn't the ideal, but at least the world is a little less screwed up if one person is good by habit.

Um...I probably have not clarified myself enough but hopefully that makes sense.

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[User Picture]From: pemberlybudgie
2006-07-10 12:23 am (UTC)
Yeah, y'know I realized that the question makes perfect sense in my own mind given the context, but it is really nonsensical to anyone looking at it without the benefit of my wild logic ^_^ so I give, and raise a toast to Racho for so valiantly engaging in discussions thus far ^_^. What do y'all say (I know, I'm being somewhat optimistic here, considering so far Racho is the only member...) to just dropping this question (at least until I can think of a more suitable way to ask it)?
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