Nicomachean Ethics

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Discussion Questions for Aristotle “Nicomachean Ethics”

  1. Like Mill, Aristotle argues that happiness is the only thing with intrinsic value. How does he support this claim?

  2. Kant argues that the good will is the only thing with intrinsic worth. Which claim is correct? Can they both be right…or wrong?

  3. Of the three kinds of life described in the reading, Aristotle argues that the “contemplative” life has the highest value. He explains what it means to live a contemplative life in the Book X excerpt from your reading. Do you agree that a contemplative life is or should be the highest ideal? Why or why not?

  4. For Kant, doing the right thing because it feels good has not moral worth. For Aristotle, doing the doing the right thing because it feels good has the highest moral worth. With whom do you agree?

  5. According to Aristotle, is performing a moral action from duty (doing something moral for duty’s sake, not because you want to do it) virtuous?

  6. According to Aristotle, virtue is defined as the mean between the extremes (vices) of excess and deficiency. Be able to provide examples of virtues and vices

  7. In what way is virtue relative to the individual?

  8. Thus far, which moral theory do you favor (if any)?

I will also ask a few of the questions from page 560 in your book, so be prepared with answers to those questions as well as the questions above.

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