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Aristotle, Plato and Socrates' Arguments Research Assignment Paper (Essay Sample)


1. Imagine that you recently saw a documentary that is highly critical of factory farming. You found a number of the ethical and health considerations presented in the documentary persuasive, and you decide that it is best not to eat meat any more. Some time later, on a trip to Philadelphia, you pass by Pat's King of Steaks and succumb to the temptation to eat a delicious Philly Cheese Steak. How might Socrates' view (as presented by the character Socrates in the Protagoras) explain your failure to act according to the decision that you formed when you watched the documentary? How might Plato's view (as presented by the character Socrates in the Republic) explain your action? To what extent are Socrates' and Plato's explanations of your action different? Which explanation do you find more persuasive, and why?
2. In Nicomachean Ethics I.7, Aristotle claims that “the human good proves to be activity of soul in accord with excellence” (1098a16-17) and, more specifically, an activity “with or requiring a rational principle” (1098a7-8). How does Aristotle reach this definition of the human good? In your answer, you should explain the relationship between a thing's function, its excellence (or virtue), and its good, as well as the steps of the argument Aristotle uses to reach this conclusion about the specific good of a human being. Where do you think that the argument is most vulnerable to criticism? Do you think that Aristotle's view can be successfully defended? Why or why not?


Aristotle, Plato and Socrates' Arguments
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Aristotle, Plato and Socrates' Arguments
Question #1
From the given case, it is clear that factory farming is associated with negative ethical and health implications. As such, desisting from eating meat is considered as a solution to theproblems relating to factory farming. In Protagoras, Socrates argues that virtues constitute a single whole-thing. He also argues that virtue is analogous to knowledge. Consistent with Socrates' argument, the documentary provides the requisite knowledge. With such knowledge, it is possible for one to exercise virtues, including avoiding meat consumptions. Socrates further emphasizes the so-called unity of virtues. The decision to stop eating meat reflects such unity in the sense that it is a remedy for both the ethical and health issues relating to factory farming.
While there is a widespread belief that pleasures can compel an individual to act contrary to his or her predefined decision, Socrates argues otherwise. In light of this, he argues that human beings are not overcome by pleasures, but they can knowingly do something bad. The argument is in line with the act of eating Philly Cheese Steak even after watching the documentary about factory farming's health and ethical considerations. Moreover, Socrates could have questioned such act to ascertain its underlying long and short-term issues. While meat consumption results in short-term pleasure, it has negative long-term implications from the ethical and health standpoint. It is with the act's outcomes that the act can be regarded as good or bad. Any pleasure that hinders greater future pleasures is bad. Socrates is more future-oriented than present-oriented. As such, he could have criticized the pleasures that forced an individual to fail to adhere to his decision.
Nevertheless, Plato can also explain such a failure in the Republic. This text presents the human heart with three distinct parts, namely, spirit, reason, and appetite. One can differentiate such parts using the so-called Principle of Opposites. For instance, while a hungry individual desires food, he or she might decide not to eat due to the health issues of a given food item. This example illustrates two of the three parts of the soul: appetite and reasoning. From the case presented, the soul's appetite part yearned for Philly Cheese Steak and the persons consumed it. However, had the person employed the reasoning part, he or she could not have consumed the food. Plato argues that a just person has been the one who harmonizes all the three parts. This argument implies that the person presented in the case is unjust,given that he or she failed to harmonize the parts by exclusively using only the appetite part.
Plato also suggests that the appetitive part

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