An argument against aristotle and his idea that children cannot be virtuous

The principal component of happiness upon which Aristotle concentrates is virtuous activity. In the model of excellence set forth here, action is prompted by well-cultivated desire and is guided by a variety of thinking skills, including discernment sensitive to the situation.

An argument against aristotle and his idea that children cannot be virtuous

When examining the historical development of society, perhaps the most determining factor is education. DeHart Grand Valley State University When examining the historical development of society, perhaps the most determining factor is education.

An argument against aristotle and his idea that children cannot be virtuous

Education has a symbiotic relationship with society in that it is shaped by society as much as it shapes society. It provides a means by which humans can recall history as well as shape their own.

This is why attempting to understand the educational character of a certain time period is important to a better understanding of the history of thought.

--Aristotle believes that virtue alone cannot being happiness (Plato's view)--you cannot be truly happy without virtue, but you need the external goods in addition to virtue to be truly happy. --Agrees with Plato that you need virtue to be happy; just does not agree that it is the only necessary component. In his Nicomachean Ethics (§21; a15–22), Aristotle says that everyone agrees that eudaimonia is the highest good for human beings, but that there is substantial disagreement on what sort of life counts as doing and living well; i.e. eudaimon. According to Aristotle, it is difficult to,be virtuous if you aren't in the habit of being virtuous. He notes that if you aren't virtuous, vice is a source of pleasure, but if you are virtuous, vice is a source of pain.

John of Salisbury offers us such a glimpse into the intellectual and social climate of the twelfth century through his work, Metalogicon. The Metalogicon was written as an impassioned defense of liberal arts education, pointing to the indispensable role of education in creating virtuous and happy lives.

While it is significant to the medieval development of pedagogy, it also offers insight into the corresponding social and political environment by understanding the reach and limitations of its arguments for education.

The most curious insight comes, as it may seem to us, as a contrast. This is because, despite the significance given to education for a well- functioning society, John also emphasizes that not everyone can or should be educated.

This article will examine these two seemingly opposed ideas in their sociohistorical context, but will ultimately argue that these positions are incompatible and incoherent given the potential John of Salisbury believed liberal arts education to have. The Metalogicon is one of the best twelfth-century sources historians have regarding education during this time in history.

This fact alone makes it noteworthy. During the development of Western education, there is perhaps no time more formative to modern views on education than the Middle Ages.

Of the Middle Ages, the twelfth century was particularly influential in the shaping of education, and has even been called the birthplace of Western pedagogy.

Out of this time period emerged the first universities, and while John was writing the Metalogicon, there were unparalleled numbers of students involved in courses and further alongside this, a robust discussion and debate over the best methods of education.

However, to appreciate why this is so, it will first be helpful to understand the scholastic environment surrounding the Metalogicon. The Metalogicon was written in in response to a movement seeking to lessen the emphasis placed on the trivium in education. Traditionally, when universities began, there were seven liberal arts that came to be conceptually divided into the trivium and quadrivium.

The first category, regarded as the trivium, was considered to be an elementary grouping focused on language studies and included grammar, rhetoric, and dialectic.

The quadrivium focused on mathmatico-physical disciplines and consisted of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music. Historically, the liberal arts were branches of knowledge taught in order to train the free man, and the division into seven liberal arts was codified in late antiquity and popularized during the Middle Ages.

Coin of Cornificius The Cornificians, most likely a pseudonym for this movement attacking the trivium, argued that the weight placed on liberal arts in education was unnecessary. John of Salisbury fully opposed the Cornifician movement because he thought it would undermine the entire purpose of education.

Furthermore, this pursuit of virtue and happiness is what separated humankind from beast, and for that, it was the most important quest a human could take. The Metalogicon defends liberal education as a necessary and proper instrument, irreplaceable to the ends of social order and progress.

It argues that training in the liberal arts is essential to becoming wise and successful. It is likely John was born to a poor family, although very little is known about his actual childhood circumstances apart from his own writings.

He pursued higher education in Paris and studied under some of the greatest masters in the twelfth century for almost twelve years.

While in Paris, John studied grammar, logic, and theology extensively between and He was educated with the traditional literary and dialectical trivium, and even had some teaching experience of his own.

In addition to this, he had years of experience in governmental and diplomatic affairs. With this impressive academic and political career, he was able to write his two major works, the Metalogicon and the Policraticus, from personal experience.

Befittingly, his books are filled with examples rather than a philosophical examination of the topics discussed. By the time John was writing, he was well qualified to express views on education.

The Cornificians argued that the curriculum emphasizing grammar and rhetoric was tedious and that these skills were not teachable, but rather they should come naturally to students.

In this view, the ability to speak and argue well was a natural gift, and time should be spent on other educational endeavors. They believed that theoretical study could not lead to acquiring skills of eloquence or critical thinking; instead, students should focus more on practical learning, such as medicine or law.

According to John, these critics spent their education overly concerned with their careers and never thoroughly studied the trivium. He rather humorously remarked: The result is this hodgepodge of verbiage, reveled in by a foolish old man, who rails at those who respect the founders of the arts, since he himself could see nothing useful in these arts when he was pretending to study them.

Education, to him, should be aimed at the ultimate principles and purposes of life, which not surprisingly includes engaging with further philosophical questions.2- Annas, Aristotle's Politics.

a Symposium Aristotle on Human Nature and Political Virtue - Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online. Aristoteles, Naturaleza humana, Virtud politica.

Second, the idea that a person needs to be virtuous in order to understand ethics is an important feature in Aristotle's argument. Studying ethics requires the use of practical reason and ought to result in actions that accord with ethical principles.

An argument against aristotle and his idea that children cannot be virtuous

Aristotle’s Function Argument is the main foundation of his account of what it means to be a good human being, and I think it is an ingenious and successful endeavour. Aristotle needs the conclusion of the function argument for his conception of the good. Although Aristotle argues for the superiority of the philosophical life in X.7–8, he says in X.9, the final chapter of the Ethics, that his project is not yet complete, because we can make human beings virtuous, or good even to some small degree, only if we undertake a study of the art of legislation.

In this paper I will argue against Aristotle and his idea that children cannot be virtuous, as we discussed in class. I will do this by giving concrete examples that a certain widespread religion believes in this virtuosity of a child. argument against Meno’s second attempt rests on two counterexamples [73d].

Firstly, ‘the ability to rule over all’ does not include children and slaves, hence it is too narrow.

Aristotle: Politics | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy