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16 terms

Virtue Ethics: Plato

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Plato's philosophy of human nature
1. natural human goal: eudaimonia
2. three parts/capacities of the soul
eudaimonia
"having a good guardian spirit"; happiness, flourishing, the "good life"
three parts/capacities of the soul
1. appetite
2. thumos
3. reason/intellect
appetite
desire for things we need to survive or thrive physically, things which are usually pleasant -- food, water, warmth, sex, etc.
thumos
energy, drive, ambition, aggression, get-up-and-go
reason/intellect
ability to analyze facts, evidence, and arguments in a detached and unbiased way
three classes in the Republic
1. working class
2. military
3. rulers
analogy between classes of the Republic and parts of the soul
1. working class -- appetites
2. military -- thumos
3. rulers -- reason/intellect
cardinal virtues
1. temperance (moderation)
2. courage (strength)
3. wisdom (prudence)
4. justice
temperance
an attitude of moderation toward pleasure, especially physical pleasures of food, drink, and sex
courage
an attitude of strength in the face of danger or in situations that cause fear or confidence
wisdom
the ability to recognize the best possible goal or result in a given situation and to figure out what actions to take to get to that goal
justice
fairness; giving people what they deserve; treating people equally
cardinal virtues in the Republic
1. working class -- temperance
2. military -- courage
3. rulers -- wisdom
4. the whole city/state -- justice
cardinal virtues in the soul
1. appetites -- temperance
2. thumos -- courage
3. reason/intellect -- wisdom
4. the whole soul -- justice
questions Plato leaves us with
1. will having the soul in harmony really make us just?
2. will being virtuous really make us happy?