Assignment three : LUSENET : Walsh Intro to Philosophy : One Thread

In Aristotle's essay "The Rational Life", I find myself agreeing and disagreeing with his points. Right from the start I agree with his observation that every action is well-intentioned. He discusses how people have different definitions of happiness depending on their current station in life. This says that we want most what we don't have. One other topic I agreed with dealt with actions. Aristotle points out that doing a certain act makes you that certain way. He uses the example of doing brave acts makes you brave. I agree with this ideal. Someone may think they are the most brave person but if they can't back that claim up, it is an inane statement.

In the article there were also some claims I am not comfortable with. One of these is when Aristotle claims men of "superior breeding" value honor more than others. I quite believe that the opposite is true. In this day and age, the "well-bred" wealthy or powerful leaders tend toward more corruption and underhandedness than the "average" person. I agree that possibly the value of honor had decreased in our society as a whole. However, I hardly can see that prominent people are more honorable than those who do honest work to survive.

Another deduction Aristotle made involved how things act in nature cannot be trained otherwise in society. I would be interested to see how Aristotle explains materialism. In nature, living beings do not lower to the depths that humans have to get more money. Our materialistic desire is what separates up from other creatures, I believe.

One final topic I questioned as I read dealt with amusement. Aristotle views amusement as trivial. He does admit it has a benefit of relieving ourselves of daily worries. However, after reading much about the healing power of laughter, I believe there is more to it. The healing may be a glorified version of "taking one's mind off something" but it has had more successful results to be designated as just a way of relaxing. Also, those people who do the amusing gain much pleasure and satisfaction from the joy they bring to others.

-- Anonymous, February 21, 2000

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