Thursday, August 25, 2011
Plato wrote that the idea of the Good is the ultimate object of knowledge, although it is not knowledge itself. Common man cannot see, understand or attain true good because it exists only as a concept. He also said things that are "just" gain their usefulness and value. According to Plato, humans are compelled to pursue the good, but no one can hope to do this successfully without philosophical reasoning.
Aristotle was critical of Plato's ideas of the Good. I guess he thought them bad. Sigh.
Today, Richard Kraut, one of Harvard's respected analytical philosophers, explores a good-centered moral philosophy, an "ethics of well-being" that requires all of our efforts to do some good. Kraut’s theory appears to come down to the fact that many common human pursuits – for riches, fame, domination – are in themselves worthless, while some of the familiar virtues – justice, honesty, and autonomy – are good.
Being a lowly common man I tend to think (when I do) that no matter how you spell it "good" is simply that which does no harm. That we can wish each other a good morning, or good luck without a fifteen page explanation about what exactly we mean...
I think I'll pick up some ice cream today. Simply because it's good, and not because it's useful or just. Call me a rebel.
Posted by Rand MacIvor at 7:27 AM