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The Theorist Theories

Discussing the theories of the philosophers: Aristotle, Kant, and Levinas

Andrew Morra

on 2 November 2012

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Transcript of The Theorist Theories

Why Be Ethical? Aristotle Kant Levinas so then what is similar in their theories Well what does Aristotle think...

Aristotle thinks that:
people need to be moderate in all things

and that

Humans find happiness in community

But what does that really mean????? What does Kant think...

Kant believes that:
The use of reason is central to moral life


people may not be treated as simply a means but always at the same time as an ends.

So then, does this mean? What does Levinas think...

Levinas believes that
Goodness translates into responsibility for the other


The face of another call me to respond

So then what does this mean? Their similar in the fact of in all of them there is importance to other people. Both Kant and Levinas play off the idea of duty. Kant for the duty of the self, and Levinas with the duty for the other. Kant and Aristotle are similar because Aristotle's ethics involve the reason that we have, Kant's ethics also involve are ability to have reason. Aristotle and Levinas have a commonality in that their is a greater emphasis on other people rather then the self. Aristotle's ethics are all about the community, Levinas' ethics are about helping the other. They are all similar because their ultimate goal is to find the good Be Moderate in all things What Aristotle meant by this is that people need to live in middle avoid having excess while at the same time not avoiding anything entirely. The middle for anything can be different for different people. A lot for someone can be a little for another, sometimes with some things the middle could be none. Humans Find Happiness Within Community Aristotle believed that the community is more important then the individual. He thought that every person needs to live within a community. Since he differentiated between happiness and pleasure he noted that to be able to find happiness one of the criteria is that they you need to be part of a greater community Humans find happiness within community Example Be Moderate in all Things Example Be Moderate in all Things Humans find happiness within community I must act in such a way that the priciples according to which I act should become a universal law. People may not be treated simply as a means but always at the same time as an ends This does not mean that people may never be treated as a means. However what it means is that people cannot be treated as only a means, people need to be treated as a means but also as a ends. As long as people are being respected then they are being treated as an ends, and since they are helping to accomplishing a greater goal then they are also a means. I must act in such a way that the principles according to which I act should become a universal law Example People may not be treated simply as a means but always at the same time as an ends Example I must act in such a way that the principles according to which i act should become a universal law People may not be treated simply as a means but always at the same times as an ends The face of another calls me to respond Here Levinas is talking about situations when walking in the street you pass by someone, like a beggar. There face is what is calling you to respond. This is through God because he is manifested inside of the beggar. The sub conscious is called to respond to the situation, where the other, the beggar has rule. So through a person's face God is calling you to respond. Goodness translates into responsibility for the other Searching for the human face for Levina's is what makes us a responsible human, and it is here that the search for the good ends. God connects with us through another person, however upon learning this he leaves the other, allowing us to connect with the other person. God calls us to be as good as possible toward another person, being as generous, and helpful as needs be. The face of the other calls me to respond Example Goodness translates into responsibility for the other Example Goodness translates into responsibility for the other The face of the other calls me to respond A example of living in moderation would be giving to charity with respect to giving money. A majority of people would find moderation of giving some money to charity, enough that they still have some money left. However moderation can be different between people so someone like Dr. Andrew Simone, would find that a middle point is close to all of what you have, but others could not give anything at all because they are not sure where the money would go. Here Kant is talking about moral maxims, and how we need to act in a way that we want others to act. So we cannot leave any obligations we have, as we expect that other will not either. This has the same underlying principle as the golden rule, do onto other as you would have other do onto you. since you do not want them to do something then you should not do that also. By Andrew Morra In the movie Wall - E, Wall - e starts off being on earth alone, he is separated from the community and is not happy. He experiences pleasure from cleaning up but it is not true happiness. Then comes Eva and they go back to the ship. Here when Wall-e is on the ship with Eva and the whole community wall-e finds happiness in it. He would not have been able to find this otherwise as he would be doing the same tasks which gave him the experience of pleasure. An example for this would be like a person skipping work, calling in skip so they do not need to work and can go out. This is not okay for someone to do. Although if someone is to do this then nothing is stopping someone else from doing the same thing, in this case everyone would stop working and the world would be at a stand still. So if everyone acts with the idea of others will follow their actions then their is universal law as everyone is acting how they want everyone else to act. In sweatshops in Asia children work long hours with barely any pay. They are being exploited, people are treating them as only a means for production. They are not treated with dignity. In factories in Canada workers are not only treated as a means for production, they work shorter hours and with more pay. Enough that they are able to provide for their families. They are being treated not only as a means but also as an ends An example for this is volunteering at a soup kitchen many people who do this do not do it because they have to, they help because they want to. Their generosity is going farther then most people. Their helping allows them to embrace the other where their responsibility is more then most other people. An examples for this would be walking in the streets of Toronto you would find a lot of homeless people. Seeing these people would call you to respond and do something. There are only a few responses that could happen. Two of them are to ignore them, or to help them. Since God is inside them, ignoring them is like ignoring God, and helping them is like helping God. Seeing the other their will be a response, God is calling you and hoping that you to respond in someway. Then how are they different Bibliography In Search of the Good: A Catholic Understanding of Moral Living. Ottawa: Publications Service, Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2004. Print. Images found on from google images So, what is this about? This is all about the three philosophers: Aristotle, Kant and Levinas, and their teaching. They are each from a different time but they all share the same general ideas on ethics. They all believe that we search for what is good. Aristotle (384 -322 BCE) Teleological ethics
Kant (1724-1804) deontological ethics
Levinas (1905 - 1995) ethics of the face
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