Nicomachean Ethics

by Aristotle

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As defined in Nicomachean Ethics, carefully explain Aristotle’s view of “good” (using examples).

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Numerous books of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics contains "advice" about how Aristotle views "good." 

Book One/ Chapter One: "Good as an end." 

According to Book One, "every action and pursuit" should be aimed at some good. Aristotle states, as an example, that "end of the medical art is health." What this chapter refers to is that each and every act should be concerned with the good it can bring about in life. 

Book One/ Chapter Two: "Good for Society"

Here, Aristotle states that all actions "must be the good for man." An individual should insure "good" acts in order to insure good outcomes (for society). An example of this, as defined by Aristotle, is politics. Politics (when correct) are beneficial for the greater whole (society). 

Book One/ Chapter Three: "Knowledge of Good"

Aristotle states "man who has been educated in a subject is a good judge." This is absolutely necessary in order to define things as good within specific areas. For example, a person who has knowledge of cooking is most likely a good judge of good food. 

Book One/ Chapter Six: "Good Itself" 

In this chapter, Aristotle addresses the idea of "universal good." He goes on to state that good is defined by "substance" and "quality." He goes on to say that "good" is not always present in each and every action. An example of good in itself exists within the idea that something can only be deemed good by those who practice good. This plays off of the idea brought up in chapter three (Book One): an expert in a field must know the good within a subject to identify something as being good within it. Their knowledge of what is good helps the "expert" to define what defines something as being good in its own right. Therefore, an example of this lies in the doctor who treats the person and not the study of health. 

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