Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics

The Goodness in the Situational Ethic College

The nature of goodness is distinctly disparate between Plato and Aristotle. Plato argues for a higher form of goodness, while Aristotle argues back with a societal form of goodness. Aristotle’s view of goodness is far more realistic to the actual world, and it disproves Plato’s belief that goodness is eternal, essential, and universal.

Plato presents a dualist view of goodness. His goodness is an absolute form above society and its interactions. Plato states as a conclusion to his allegory of the cave, “…the entire soul must be turned away from this changing world, until its eye can bear to contemplate reality and that supreme splendor which we have called the Good” (Republic 232). He obviously holds goodness in high regard and as an entity apart from society, making it a dualist view. He calls for a person to seek goodness by turning away from society because society is analogous to the cave in his allegory; this person must emerge into the light to seek goodness. Plato believes goodness exists outside of society and is an intangible form, yet it is attainable through careful, meticulous thought, as exemplified by Plato’s allegorical prisoner striving for the blinding light: goodness. To Plato, knowledge is real; the highest...

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