- It cannot be understood except in reference to something else.
- The good is not the wanting, but you
- cannot understand what the good is except in reference to want. You cannot
- understand what love is, except as that which goes to good and vice versa.You have to understand both of them together at the same time, simultaneously. There are things we cannot
- define except with reference to something else: You cant define what color is
- except through what is seen, or seeing, except through color.We're talking about that which is good in itself not
- that which brings about something that is good
Delightful Good versus the Honest Good
- Delightful Good could be is precisely that delight which is pleasure and happiness - that is a state of the subject. There's obviously a difference
- between the object, which causes the delight and the pleasure itself. Both of them are goods in themselves,
- and it may be that St. Thomas calls the objective good an Honest Good as
- distinct from the state of the subject.
the Good in essence contains a transcendental relation, what is that?
- inorder to understand what the Good is, you have to refer to something other than
- the Good
- The Good is not the
- appetite - but you can't understand the Good except as that for which there is
- an appetite
- phenomenology. In saying that the Good is there
- to be discovered, that it has a kind of non-arbitrary objectivity,
The transhedonistic and transeudaemonistic objectivity
of the good:
- The relationship of good to pleasure and happiness. They are good, without doubt.
- They do not exhaust “good”? Goodness is found not
- only in the state of the subject, but also in that, which in fact provokes the pleasure and happiness.
- emotion which goes to something good, purely good in itself." distinqished from Irascible Passions are movements concerned with
- something good, but not pure - there's always a mixture of evil, as well.
Is Good an ideal?
- Good is not like a perfect circle, more then
- an ideal. The reality of the good is not anything
- really distinct from all the other non-valued things. It is simply an aspect of things conceived without the notion of value.
often do you meet the reality of goodness?
- Classical Thomistic position: As often as
- there is being, there is goodness. Being in itself (insofar as it is) is good.
- Goodness is a transcendental property of being.
- something that is not part of the essential
- notes of something but follows necessarily when that essence is present.
- Highest form of that is that it is always and only found where that essence is
4 rules of The hierarchy of good
- 1.) The more endurable a good thing is, the higher it
- is. The value of the good spaghetti taste is short. The value in
- personal love is non-interminable
- 2.) The more sharable/divisible a value is, the higher
- it is.
- 3.) The more
- derivative a value is the lower it is. The value of the good taste of
- beefsteak is higher than the value of cooking the beefsteak.
- 4.) The deeper a level in a human being in which a
- value is experienced is an indication of a higher nature of the value involved.
- The place where we experience sense value in our senses is not located so
- deeply in us as the “I”.
Dynamism of the Good
- The call of the Good, as it emerges from something that is good, wants to move the perceiver to the good thing. This is different than the act of the known on the
- perceiver - in that case, the object is brought to the knower. That is why
- knowing and loving are irreducibly distinct things.
- It is a second property of the good. It is the peculiar force which good possesses as a property. Good cannot be static. It is always exercising a
- kind of power, which is a call for response to what goodness is.
- analogically like the beauty of an oak tree calling for respect or the beauty
- of an thing calling us not to destroy it.
- Insofar as this call comes
- out from the Good, demanding a response, that constitutes what is, in a broad
- sense, the light of the
- Good - the power of emerging from the good thing that calls for a response.
- Insofar as that same causal activity, that call, is received in the intelligent
- knower, is passively undergone, that constitutes the foundation of "duty,"
- or "obligation."
do you formulate the norms?
Thomistic and juridical
- because he distinguishes between the species
- of a way of acting and circumstances in which the act takes place, he is able
- to formulate ethical norms in a brief essential way: “Do not kill people.” In
- the juridical technique you try to include all the relevant circumstances.
There is a bad use of norms
general and norms that are individual.norms
- that are binding on everyone in a particular groups (general = laws) or norms
- that are binding only for a given individual (individual = precept).
- immutable. It binds everybody and is in some sense known by everybody. It is
- not subject to dispensation.
- Regarding the knowability of natural law, Thomas
- doesn’t say flat out that everybody knows it. Thomas distinguishes between the
- primary precepts and
- secondary or even
- tertiary precepts of natural law.
- Primary precepts such as the principle of sinderesis and the principle of loving God above all are so evident that nobody does not know them
- Regarding secondary precepts, Thomas says that they bind everybody but from time to time people may be inculpably ignorant or actually ignorant. Example: You should not lie or you should honor father and mother. Societies can be so corrupt that the people that live there may sometimes not know the secondary principles.
natural law is immutable
- It is found in the ten commandments as an
- indication of specifically what is morally right or wrong to do. It will always be the case. We will never evolve in such a way that someday it will be okay to kill people or to not honor mom and dad. But Thomas holds that moral species
- are peculiar in that what is specifically good or bad can under certain relevant circumstances become better or worse or something specifically good can become good as vice versa. Prohibition against taking somebody’s property against his will is specifically wrong and will be wrong. But when there is no
- other way to feed your starving child but to take somebody’s food it becomes not only allowable but an imperative.
principle of the double-effect:
- You perform immediately and in itself a
- certain free act “A”. This act has at least two effects. There is the effect
- “B”, which you want. But there is also the effect
- “C”, which you foresee is going to happen, but you don’t want it to occur.
Four conditions of the principle of the double-effect:
- 1.) The act you
- actually perform is in itself morally good or at least morally indifferent. It
- cannot be something that is morally wrong in itself.
- 2.) The end intended
- has to be something that is good, like the health of the baby.
- 3.) The means by
- which you attain what is good must not be a thing that is evil. If it is
- morally evil in itself you cannot do it. Only when the morally evil is not a
- means of what you want, that you can place “A”.
- 4.) There has to be
- a proportion between the amount of evil caused and the amount of good, both in
- regard to simple and moral goodness.
- Thomas justifies
- self-defense by this principle.
the Aristotelian tradition one divides virtues into
- good habits that are intellectual and those,
- which are moral.
- One can speak of the
- intellectual virtues of sinderesis, science
- and wisdom. Your intellect can be
- disposed to understand first principles of things with pleasure (sinderesis).
- It can be disposed to know the certain facts and the proper causes of these
- facts, which are all of the sciences (science). Or you can be disposed to know
- that everything and all the parts in relation to the whole (wisdom).