The human function argument essay

If 1 and 2 are true, then the life of happiness for a human being consists in a certain life of reason. It may be that Aristotle is correct to think there is a certain way human beings naturally function.

Must we not rather assume that, just as the eye, the hand, the foot and each of the various members of the body manifestly has a certain function of its own, so a human being also has a certain function over and above all the functions of his particular members?

Even if human beings have a function, it is not obvious that the good life for a human being consists in the proper exercise of this function. Nicomachean Ethics The Argument from the Human Function "To say that the best good is happiness is apparently something generally agreed, and what we is a clearer statement of the best good is.

So let us exclude the life of nutrition and growth. Next there would be a life of perception, but this also seems common to the horse, the ox, and every animal. The third premise in the argument is the most plausible of the three.

Aristotle argues from elimination that the human function is a certain exercise of reason. Aristotle thinks that human beings have a function and that the good life for a human being consists in the proper exercise of this function.

The good life for human beings consists in a life of the proper exercise of the human function. It may be that just as a knife that functions properly cuts well and so on is a good knife, so also a human being who functions properly is a good human being.

The life of happiness for a human being consists in a certain life of reason. To get beyond the apparent truism that the good life for a human being is a life of happiness, Aristotle looks to the human function.

Aristotle identifies this life as "some sort of practical life holding with reason.

What then precisely can this function be" Nicomachean Ethics I. Additional argument, however, is necessary to show that a life of this functioning is the same thing as the good life. The human function consists in a certain exercise of reason.

Since a life of happiness is the good life for a human being, the good life for a human being consists in the proper exercise of the human function, and the human function consists in a certain exercise of reason, it follows that happiness for a human being consists in a certain life of reason.

It is impossible for the conclusion to be false if all the premises are true. It is much less clear, though, that he is also correct to think that the life in which this functioning occurs is "some sort of practical life holding with reason.Aristotle’s account of a good life is defined in Book I of the Nicomachean Ethics and revolves around the function of human beings.

This function Aristotle determines to be unique to human beings, which is the act of reasoning well. The Human Function Argument Aristotle argues that the human function is activity of the soul that expresses or requires reason.

This argument is found in Nicomachean Ethics approximately between Bekker lines b24 and a9. The argument that follows establishes that human function is ”an active life of the element that has a rational principle” ( a). By this Aristotle means every action has a purpose “for the sake of which others are done” ( a).

He argues that the human function is rational activity. Our good is therefore rational activity performed well, which Aristotle takes to mean in accordance with virtue.

This argument has been criticized at almost every point.

Aristotle's Function Argument

This chapter defends Aristotle's argument from these criticisms. Argument. 1. The good life for human beings consists in a life of the proper exercise of the human function.

2. The human function consists in a certain exercise of reason. 3. If (1) and (2) are true, then the life of happiness for a human being consists in a certain life of reason. === 4. The life of happiness for a human being consists in a. Aristotle’s Function Argument is the main foundation of his account of what it means to be a good human being, and I think it is an ingenious and successful endeavour.

Aristotle needs the conclusion of the function argument for his conception of the good.

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The human function argument essay
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