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Philosophers' views

2014-3-26 14:23| view publisher: amanda| views: 1006| wiki(57883.com) 0 : 0

description: René Descartes For the Rationalist philosopher René Descartes, virtue consists in the correct reasoning that should guide our actions. Men should seek the sovereign good that Descartes, following Ze ...
René Descartes
For the Rationalist philosopher René Descartes, virtue consists in the correct reasoning that should guide our actions. Men should seek the sovereign good that Descartes, following Zeno, identifies with virtue, as this produces a solid blessedness or pleasure. For Epicurus the sovereign good was pleasure, and Descartes says that in fact this is not in contradiction with Zeno's teaching, because virtue produces a spiritual pleasure, that is better than bodily pleasure. Regarding Aristotle's opinion that happiness depends on the goods of fortune, Descartes does not deny that these goods contribute to happiness, but remarks that they are in great proportion outside one's own control, whereas one's mind is under one's complete control.[34]
Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant, in his Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime, expresses true virtue as different from what commonly is known about this moral trait. In Kant's view, to be goodhearted, benevolent and sympathetic is not regarded as true virtue. The only aspect that makes a human truly virtuous is to behave in accordance with moral principles. Kant presents an example for more clarification; suppose that you come across a needy person in the street; if your sympathy leads you to help that person, your response does not illustrate your virtue. In this example, since you do not afford helping all needy ones, you have behaved unjustly, and it is out of the domain of principles and true virtue. Kant applies the approach of four temperaments to distinguish truly virtuous people. According to Kant, among all people with diverse temperaments, a person with melancholy frame of mind is the most virtuous whose thoughts, words and deeds are on the bases of principles.
Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche's view of virtue is based on the idea of an order of rank among people. For Nietzsche, the virtues of the strong are seen as vices by the weak and slavish, thus Nietzsche's virtue ethics is based on his distinction between master morality and slave morality. Nietzsche promotes the virtues of those he calls "higher men", people like Goethe and Beethoven. The virtues he praises in them are their creative powers (“the men of great creativity” - “the really great men according to my understanding” (WP 957)). According to Nietzsche these higher types are solitary, pursue a "unifying project", revere themselves and are healthy and life-affirming.[35] Because mixing with the herd makes one base, the higher type “strives instinctively for a citadel and a secrecy where he is saved from the crowd, the many, the great majority…” (BGE 26). The 'Higher type' also "instinctively seeks heavy responsibilities" (WP 944) in the form of an "organizing idea" for their life, which drives them to artistic and creative work and gives them psychological health and strength.[36] The fact that the higher types are "healthy" for Nietzsche does not refer to physical health as much as a psychological resilience and fortitude. Finally, a Higher type affirms life because he is willing to accept the eternal return of his life and affirm this forever and unconditionally.
In the last section of Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche outlines his thoughts on the noble virtues and places solitude as one of the highest virtues:
And to keep control over your four virtues: courage, insight, sympathy, solitude. Because solitude is a virtue for us, since it is a sublime inclination and impulse to cleanliness which shows that contact between people (“society”) inevitably makes things unclean. Somewhere, sometime, every community makes people – “base.” (BGE §284)
Nietzsche also sees truthfulness as a virtue:
Genuine honesty, assuming that this is our virtue and we cannot get rid of it, we free spirits – well then, we will want to work on it with all the love and malice at our disposal and not get tired of ‘perfecting’ ourselves in our virtue, the only one we have left: may its glory come to rest like a gilded, blue evening glow of mockery over this aging culture and its dull and dismal seriousness! (Beyond Good and Evil, §227)
Benjamin Franklin

Virtue, spear in hand, with her foot on the prostrate form of Tyranny on the Great Seal of Virginia
These are the virtues[37] that Benjamin Franklin used to develop what he called 'moral perfection'. He had a checklist in a notebook to measure each day how he lived up to his virtues.
They became known through Benjamin Franklin's autobiography.
Temperance: Eat not to Dullness. Drink not to Elevation.
Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling Conversation.
Order: Let all your Things have their Places. Let each Part of your Business have its Time.
Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.
Frugality: Make no Expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. Waste nothing.
Industry: Lose no Time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary Actions.
Sincerity: Use no hurtful Deceit. Think innocently and justly; and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
Justice: Wrong none, by doing Injuries or omitting the Benefits that are your Duty.
Moderation: Avoid Extremes. Forbear resenting Injuries so much as you think they deserve.
Cleanliness: Tolerate no Uncleanness in Body, Clothes or Habitation.
Tranquility: Be not disturbed at Trifles, or at Accidents common or unavoidable.
Chastity: Rarely use Venery but for Health or Offspring; Never to Dullness, Weakness, or the Injury of your own or another's Peace or Reputation.
Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

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