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Aristotle and Kant: Comparative Analysis of Ethical Philosophy - Essay Example

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Aristotle and Kant: Comparative Analysis of Ethical Philosophy

Aristotle, a Greek philosopher, has formulated his ethical thought during the Greek period that became one of the foundations of the contemporary philosophical thought. Kant, on the other hand, has worked out his philosophy during the period of Enlightenment wherein there is already an advancement of knowledge system. Firstly, what is the most common between the two philosophers? It is mainly the thought of the good. The assessment of good in this case adhere to a more individualistic approach that values more the importance of doing what is right on the part of the individual. Aristotle, in his case, asserted that the idea of good can be questioned if it validity is indeed valid like one person getting what he needs for being excellent in doing something. In this case, the very foundation of doing something that is good, whether in thought or form, is basically on gaining happiness or pleasure. In this paradigm of Aristotle, there is a dominance of a very hedonistic approach towards human attitude on things. Kant, on the other hand, highlights the importance of will as one of the factors that greatly influence human activity. In this case, Kant points out that reason provides a crucial role for the occurrence of human activity which will eventually result into good or bad depending on the circumstances that surround the matter of the act. (Gregor 52). Presumably, humans, through their rational thinking, allow them to decide what they will do. There is a presence of impartiality in terms of the manner of thinking because this requires a thorough deliberation of the outcomes of the matter. Synthetically, what seems to be relation of these two paradigms presented by the philosophers? By careful observance on a very practical level, there is nothing wrong for humans to seek pleasure and gratification on their part when it comes to choosing things that will indeed be beneficial for them. However, there is also an implication that the actions that we choose can eventually have a drawback on others even if we desire gratification. This highlights that the individualistic and hedonistic tendencies of humans will be beneficial for them but will not always be beneficial for others. In the real world, how do these paradigms of Kant and Aristotle apply on a very synthetic level? Take a look for the example, the increasing gap of the rich and the poor. There is nothing wrong for the rich to fully assert his desires and wants to live a hedonistic life. The same way that the poor is not even prevented to desire a good life. However, due to economic imbalance and instability, there is no chance on the part of the poor to attain his desire and the rich will continually exploit what he has. On a moralistic level, this kind of act cannot be fully considered as something moral since there is suffering. This suffering is the main line of difference between the two philosophers since there is a relatively different approach coming from both of their moral paradigms. Aristotle deals with desire as something that is normal for humans to do since it is already an inherent and intrinsic capacity on their part (Ross 26). This desire allows humans to attain their needs and wants to live a life that is good and pleasurable for them. However, Aristotle also pointed out that is still the human’s choice whether he will seek and assert his desires (Ross 26). The capacity of thinking provided by choice implies that the act of humans can have a relatively different impact because it can be good or bad. The unexpectedness of the outcome of a certain act can be questioned ethically. Therefore, despite of the intrinsic nature to be ...Show more
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Aristotle and Kant are two philosophers that are well known in the field of ethics. However, before critically analysing the two philosophers accordingly to their philosophical framework…
Aristotle and Kant: Comparative Analysis of Ethical Philosophy
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