PHIL 440: Study Questions on Aristotle, MacIntyre, and Schaller
Study Questions on Aristotle
1. What does Aristotle mean by a final end?
2. What is Aristotle's account of happiness?
3. Explain why Aristotle is not a hedonist?
4. Why are virtuous actions pleasant to a person of virtue?
5. Explain what Aristotle means by:
(a) state of character;
(b) mean relative to us.
6. Why does Aristotle think there is no mean amount of murder that is virtuous?
Study Questions on MacIntyre
1. What is the difference between a means that is internal to a given end and one that is external to it?
2. Explain the three stages in the development of the concept of virtue, a practice, the narrative order of a single human life, and a moral tradition. (Unfortunately, MacIntyre does not explain the third item in the selection you read. I will discuss it in class.)
3. What is a practice?
4. What is involved in learning to participate in a practice?
5. What is the difference between internal and external goods?
6. What is MacIntyre's initial definition of a virtue?
7. According to MacIntyre, which three virtues are necessary components of any practice?
8. What is the contrast between a practice and a technical skill?
9. What is the contrast between a practice and an institution?
10. Why are some pleasures internal goods and some external goods?
11. How does MacIntyre respond to the objection that some practices are evil?
12. According to MacIntyre, how are we to resolve conflicting claims of different practices?
13. How does MacIntyre think that we find out how to order various goods in a way that makes for a good human life? [Unfortunately, MacIntyre's answer to this question is not included in the selection you read. I will address it in class.]
Study Questions on Schaller
1. What does Schaller refer to as the Standard View of the relation between virtues and duties? Does he think it is true or false?
2. What is the virtue of benevolence? Does benevolence fit the Standard View? Explain.
3. What is the virtue of gratitude? Does gratitude fit the Standard View? Explain.
4. Is self-respect a virtue? If so, does the virtue of self-respect fit the Standard View? Explain.
5. Does Schaller believe that virtues are more fundamental than duties in moral theory?