Philosophy and Ethics

4. Aristotle and the hedonists have contrasting views about the nature of the best life for human beings. Aristotle believes that we ought to employ our intellects as as end in itself, while hedonists believe that we ought to employ our intellects in service of sensual pleasure. Using about a page, give Aristotle’s argument for the claim that intellectual excellence is the human function — is the ultimate, all-encompassing good. Using about a page, explain the argument for hedonism. Using about a page, explain which of those views you find more plausible, and why. Your answer must include a description of some defect in the best argument offered for the answer that you think is wrong (e.g., if you adopt Aristotle’s view, you have to say how the hedonists go logically wrong, not just that they do). Using about a page, explain your own view of the place of sensual pleasure in the best life. You must make it clear why your view is the right view, or is a plausible contender for being the right view. We’ve already been through relativism — you don’t get to evade having a view by saying that it’s up to everyone to decide for him- or herself, as you are one of those him- or herselves who has to decide. You must take a stand. I personally tend to lean into Aristotles teachings here just for reference

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Choose ONE of the following prompts and respond with a paper that is 3-4 pages in length. You must submit your paper in .doc, .docx, .docm, .ppt, .pptx, .odt, .txt, .rtf, .pdf, or .html file formats only; do not write your submission directly in Blackboard but submit it as an attachment. You can decide the level of detail you want in my feedback and comments. If you are the sort of person who would not benefit from or take advantage of very detailed comments, then you may spare me some effort and allow me to get the papers turned around faster by not requesting detailed comments on your paper. If you don’t request detailed comments, you will still get feedback of a global this-is-why-you-got-your-grade style. If you are the sort of person who would benefit from or take advantage of very detailed comments on your clarity and argumentation, then request such comments by heading the paper like this: Title COMMENTS It is entirely up to you whether you request detailed comments; it will make no difference to your grade either way and you know better than I do whether you’ll benefit from detailed comments or not. I am asking for a paper that is about four pages in length and I am not asking for four papers that are about one page in length each. You are to write a single, integrated essay. Each question asks you to offer claims from two competing writers from our material, say which one you find more plausible, and then say what the truth is. If you think that one of the writers’ claims is basically the truth, then your third and fourth parts will basically be one part and it must make clear why that writer’s claim is true.

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