Philosophy 37 (139):25 - 36 (1962)
AbstractPerhaps no word has received such varied treatment from philosophers as the word ‘good’. No doubt this is largely due to the fact that it is a word with an unusually wide range of use. Aristotle, for example, realised that it is a term that can be applied to substances, qualities, relations, actions, passivities, times and places, and we may notice that he was of the opinion that the term must have different meanings when applied in these different categories. Many of the usages which are distinguishable in everyday speech have given rise to corresponding theories about the nature of goodness. Indeed if we survey the history of philosophical speculation about goodness, we find that there are just about as many theories about goodness as there are distinct uses of the word ‘good’. For example, goodness has been variously described as an unique quality, as a consequential property, as a relational property, etc., and the word ‘good’ has been described as a term of commendation or approval, and its attributive, predicative and instrumental senses, to name a few, have been distinguished
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