The Function Argument In Aristotle's Ethics

Good Essays
This essay will explain what the function argument is and what role it plays in Aristotle’s ethics. This essay will then be explicating, how successful the functional argument is. On the former, this essay will consider why the function argument is not deemed as successful and why it is problematic. From this, the essay will come to conclusion that, the function argument is successful, even though it has certain flaws.

In Greek, ergon is function, which I will be explicating later in this essay. We should preform functions with excellence, which is also known as Arete. By this, we would essentially reach the good life, which is Eudaimonia.

As Aristotle had a teleological understanding of the universe (Lacewing, M.2015. p113-115.), everything
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p243-262). For instance, if you perform your function well, you will know how to act in the right way in every situation. This is because Aristotle has a teleological understanding and believes we all work towards a purpose. Aristotle’s ethics shows that’s, the function of reason is that, we need to aim to reach the good life (Wedin, M.V.1981. p243-262). However, we need to keep practicing our function, so we do the right act in every situation. This way we will reach the good life. However, it could be argued that, from a utilitarian perspective, the telos would be to reach happiness rather than the good life (West, H.R.2004. p143). Aristotle has kept it quite vague on how we should initially reach the good life, as there are no set guidelines, apart from using reason and becoming a virtuous person. Additionally, collecting virtues is not something needed for life (Grcic, J.2000. p128-287). This argument explains that, Aristotle’s functional argument is successful because his understanding comes from the belief that, everything works towards a purpose/goal and ours is to use reason to achieve Eudaimonia, the supreme good, essentially the good life. But its problematic because his theory is vague and does not really have a role in morality because there are no guidelines to …show more content…
The more experience we have, the more we will know what the right thing would be to do in certain situations. For instance, if we lied and it produced a bad consequence, we know not to do it again. We learn from experience and would give us better judgment for the future. However, our function of using reason alone would be problematic. This because, our reason may not be able to work out what the right act may be to do in certain situations. As Aristotle’s theory is based on self-development and being able to use reason to collect virtues, we do not know what to do when virtues conflict (Lacewing, M.2015. p113-115). For example, if someone has a terminal illness; do they have the patience to endure pain or the courage to die. Both; courage and patience are virtues and in this given situation, it would be difficult for reason to solve this. Aristotle would suggest that, a virtuous person would have the right judgment to work out the right virtue in the given situation (Lacewing, M.2015. p113-115). From this argument, it shows Aristotle has not taken into consideration that, people will have different views of what is right and wrong. As well as, not everyone will arrive at the same conclusion in every situation. Therefore, our function of reason is a convenient function but, reason may not be able to work out what is right when

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