Aristotle’s Function Argument

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Aristotle, then to expound on what it means for the function of man is the activity of the soul and how it determines Eudaimonia displays his thoughts through the “Movement of Action”. The Movement of Action, comprised of either voluntary or involuntary actions. Aristotle states that one’s actions directly correlate to their virtues. Actions that are taken voluntarily aligning properly with a virtue are those presenting good actions.

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Such in example of the Crash Course video, the lecturer states that he was courageous when he saw a woman being mugged and the action he took was to call the police. In this situation he understood the situation and acted accordingly, knowing it was not in his power to overpower to mugger he contacted someone who could, achieving the desired result, carefully and concisely. However, while most actions are seen as voluntary, depending on the situation one can make an argument that in a unique circumstance a usually detrimental action, such as throwing cargo off a ship, can be viewed as involuntary, the ship was in the middle of a torrential storm and needed to be lightened less the crew and ship be sunk by the storm, the crew cannot be blamed but rather praised.

Additionally, if one is ignorant of what harm they could cause due to upbringing, or knowledge thereof if they repent they are pardoned. When actions such as these are taken, and the greater force making the action involuntary a Praise or Pardon clause is enacted. The clause, enacted through the case of a moving principle, the storm, or about of ignorance makes it involuntary, and thus, forgivable. Uniquely, if one were to be ignorant, commit a transgression, and still be unrepentant, the phrasing used would be “Non-Voluntary”.

Paradoxically, another action, inherently an instinct, appetite, if food is eaten in excess, an irrational passion, that action would be one of voluntary action. Continually, when relating to Aristotle’s version of Eudaimonia these actions, when all are taken into account tie into whether or not an individual attains all of the virtues, for the are consequential, involved and in charge of their own actions, and if every step they take is that of the good or righteous they are in fact virtuous.

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Aristotle's Function Argument. (2020, Nov 18). Retrieved December 6, 2022 , from

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