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  • Posted By: kyleforever
  • Date Posted: 06/22/2011
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Words: 811
  • Pages: 4
  • Views: 762
  • Rank: 763

Aristotle on Selfishness

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Aristotle on Selfishness

Aristotle is often thought of as the best philosopher who ever existed. He was the first notable philosopher to say that the world we see is reality, and that the best way to live in this world is through the use of reason. In the course of Politics Aristotle condemns selfishness, believing it an unhealthy extreme of self-interest. Aristotle says ¡§life according to reason is best and pleasantest, since reason more than anything else is man. This life therefore is also the happiest.¡¨ He then mentions, ¡§in a secondary degree the life in accordance with the other kind of virtue is happy.¡¨ This may be where Aristotle¡¦s confusion starts. If a life according to reason is the happiest, why would anyone want to live in any way other than according to reason? For, if one were to live a life in accordance with some other virtue, and not completely in accordance with reason, his life would not be the happiest that could be. So, we see that Aristotle has already compromised reason for ¡§other virtues.¡¨

If Aristotle had not compromised on reason, would he have found selfishness to be a virtue rather than a vice? We have already established that reason is itself a virtue, so now it must be demonstrated that selfishness follows logically from reason. Aristotle has said, ¡§The objects of reason are the best of knowable objects.¡¨ Thus, using reason to produce must be a truly virtuous activity as not only is man using the best in him (reason), but he is also creating the best objects (anything produced through reason being an object of reason) that can exist. A better adjective for these objects (rather than best) would be valuable, as a man of reason surely values all objects of reason. In the same way ...

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