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An Overview Of The Philosophies Of Hume, Kant, Aristotle, Augustine, And Epictetus

1160 words - 5 pages

Hume mentions that reason alone does not move one to act. He says the force that propels one to act is passion. Passion is the driver of the inner being as well as reason is the slave of the passions. This leads to the conclusion of impulse does not arise from reason itself, but is directed by it. What makes us act is the love, anger, fear, anxiety, envy we have. When someone is angry, they are possessed with a passion. One does not just say to oneself, “I am going to be angry today.” Thought really is not put into being angry or in love. It just happens naturally. However, reason acts as a director to figure out what action is to be performed; however, the action will not be performed unless a passion is present. Also the discovery of truthfulness and falsity is the power of reason. An agreement or disagreement exists between the falsehood or truth and the relation of ideas. If one does not accept of this agreement or disagreement, then it is neither true nor false and can never be an object of reason.
In addition, Hume says morality is irrational. He adds that morality is under the practical division and influences one’s passions and actions. An example of this is when people are governed by their duties and impelled by others to obey their commands. Also morality is not derived from experience. For example, murder is not something people just go out and want to do. They do not say, “I want to kill someone today.” For that reason, morality resides in passions and not reason. Since morals have an effect on actions and affections, they cannot reside in reasoning.
On the other hand, Kant says reason is action-guiding. In other words, he says it is the purpose behind one’s actions. He says it is not passion that does so because one is making a choice or plan to do something. He says reason is used to make a plan and to see if the test works. Kant also mentions that we reason through and then act. Therefore, we analyze our actions with reasons behind them. Kant says if you can think, you can act morally. Morality is a law that is rational; therefore, we can measure it.
Aristotle’s vision of the good life is one that is eudaimonistic, which means it is full of happiness. If you translated the word literally, it means good spirit. He also says that fame is not part of the self-sufficient life because fame comes from other people’s thoughts. Money is also clearly wrong in the self-sufficient life because people can let it go to their head when they have too much. However, enough money to get by is okay. Aristotle also mentions that the good life is filled with a community that is very close with one another. Along with this, he says each have their own role in society. For example, one person may be a carpenter, another an artist, and the last one a flute player. Other parts of the good life include having good health, a fulfilling career, and enough leisure time. In the good life, he says it is one’s...

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