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Exam Date: 4/22/03



Agent-based ethics: stresses personal character over individual actions (action-based ethics)
Cardinal rule of the golden mean and moderation (sôphrosúnę
Character, acquired predisposition (ethos), habit (hexis)
Naturalistic and essentialist: human nature or essence (natural desire for eudaimonia) as the basis of ethics
Soul (psychę): general nature, levels, components, and internal relations (rational/irrational, voluntary/involuntary)
Functional excellence, proper or peculiar function of a thing or person, virtue (aretę)
Aristotle’s function argument
Candidates for the good life: pleasure (hędonę), honor, and rational contemplation (theôria)
Highest good (value)
Instrumental good (value): a means to an end (e.g., money, car, tool)
Intrinsic good (value): an end in itself (e.g., happiness, pleasure, wisdom)
Means-end relationship, subordinate/final goals
Potentiality: dynamis and actuality:
Perfectionism: human well-being (eudaimonia) consists in excelling at things intrinsically worth doing
Practical wisdom or prudence (phrónęsis
Self-interest: pursuit of personal advantage, benefit, or profit
Teleology: process oriented toward a final goal or purpose (e.g., moral perfection, wisdom)
Theoretical wisdom (sophia)
Virtue (aretę): general nature, distinction between intellectual and moral virtues
Virtue/vice: proportional mean (virtue) and disproportional excess or deficiency (vice)
Criticisms of Aristotle’s Virtue Ethics (also called eudaimonistic and/or teleological ethics):

  • Incomplete, impractical
  • Hierarchical essentialism
  • Assumption of distinctive human function
  • Morality is not a means but an end
  • Ethnocentric list of virtues

agathos: good, noble; to agathon: the Good
aisthęsis: a basic activity of living organisms through which they acquire information about material things, sensory or perceptual experience.
aretę: functional excellence, goodness of a thing, acquired skill or power, the proper virtue of a person or thing as determined by its nature
bios: life
dikaiosynē: justice, morality, fairness
dynamis: power; potentiality
energeia: activity, actuality
ethos: custom or habit
ergon: work, deed, proper function, characteristic activity
eudaimonia: vital well-being, happiness, human flourishing, fulfillment
hędonę: pleasure
hexis: habit
nomos: convention, custom, law
orexis: appetite
pathos: feeling, emotion
physis: nature, essential reality (as opposed to appearance), whatever exists outside humankind
phrónęsis: prudence, practical wisdom or rationality
polis: city-state
praxis: action
psychē: soul, breath of life, mind, spirit, functional structure of a living thing
sophia: theoretical or philosophical wisdom
sôphrosúnę: moderation, temperance, balanced, proportional
telos: goal, end, aim, purpose, result, completion or fulfillment of something, final point toward which a process is directed (cf. teleology and teleological)
technę: art, technique, craft
theôria: rational contemplation, intellectual vision (cf. to the Greek term for god = theos, and the English terms theory and theoretical)

1. 10 T/F questions (20 points).
2. 25 multiple-choice questions (50 points).
3. 4 short answer questions (20 points).
4. 1 essay question (10 points).
5. Extra credit?