Human Flourishing from the Foot's Viewpoint Regarding to Aristotle's Ideas

Journal of Philosophical Investigations at University of Tabriz 5 (9):161-176 (2011)
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Aristotle's virtue ethics is a teleological ethics, namely, for him, the purpose of achieving moral virtues by human beings is to obtain eudaimonia. The best interpretation of eudaimonia in Aristotle is human flourishing that is the main axis of Aristotle's ethics and also contemporary virtue ethics. Aristotle's analysis of human flourishing that is performed in biological context is based on the concept of ergon or function. Therefore, Aristotle, in description of human flourishing, emphasizes on the exclusive function of human being. For Aristotle the proper function of human being is not only nutrition, development, and reproduction because these are common between human beings on the one hand, and animals and planets, on the other hand. Hence, it rests the rational activity that is the exclusive function of human being. This activity is to be in conformity with the best and most perfect virtue. Philippa Foot, one of the most important contemporary philosophers of virtue ethics, presents an analysis of human flourishing through achieving moral values that in despite of its similarities has important differences to Aristotle's analysis. In description of human being, Foot emphasizes extremely on the biological aspect of human being in relation to Aristotle. Thus, he neglects of the other proper characteristics of human being. This problem brings about some difficulties and ambiguities in Foot's analysis of human flourishing and makes her view encounter with serious criticisms.



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