Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, Plato, and Aristotle: Morals and Ethical Codes

1190 words 5 pages
What is the appropriate action? It is a controversial question that is a focal point for moral and ethical codes. Morals and ethics is, of course, a subject that runs deep in the discussion of philosophy. People are faced with moral dilemmas everyday, which many times society decides without thoroughly exploring their options. Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, Plato, and Aristotle are philosophers that focus on the topic of ethics, yet all have different outlooks.

Kant is considered a non-consequentiality, which means he feels the intentions motives, and good will is more important than the results or consequences of an action. The backbone of Kant's philosophy is the belief in the fundamental freedom of the individual. Kant did
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Justice in the individual is a greater concern than happiness as an essential quality of life.

Aristotle argues the highest end is the human good, and claims that the highest end pursued in action is happiness. In addition, Aristotle claims that happiness is achieved only by living a virtuous life "our definition is in harmony with those who say that happiness is virtue, or a particular virtue; because an activity in accordance with virtue implies virtue". The virtuous life is full of reasoning for the good. It is the human good that expresses virtue.

I agree with Aristotle in his theory that our use of reason is good for us because happiness is the ultimate end and reason is the only way of attaining happiness. Happiness is an important aspect of Aristotle's philosophy because for him it was an activity of the soul, which accomplished a high level of excellence, refined over the length of a complete life that accord with virtue. The concept of virtue for Aristotle was anything that makes something good. The good is the result of what someone rationally aims for. If someone performs a job or a task that it is meant to do and does it well then it has good virtue. It is specifically the ability to use reason that sets humans apart from the other animals. According to Aristotle, human virtue means virtue of the soul and not the body, just like human happiness means happiness

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