2010년 12월 17일 금요일

[자료] eudaimonia

자료 1: 행복에 대한 거의 모든 것들
원저: The Discovery of Happiness
지은이: 스튜어트 메크리디 편/김석희 역

※ 메모:
철학에서도 이런 의미의 '행복'을 자주 찾아볼 수 있다. 예를 들면 제3장에서 왕 케핑은 중국어 낱말인 '복(福)'이 의미하는 행복은 '행운' 또는 '신들과 화합하는 것'이라고 설명한다. '복'이라는 낱말이 이런 의미로 쓰일 경우, 당신은 행복감을 느끼지 않을 때조차 행복할 수 있다(예컨대 당신이 방금 행운을 얻었지만 아무도 그 사실을 아직 당신에게 알려주지 않았을 때). 그리스 낱말인 '에우다이모니아(eudaimonia)'는 흔히 '행복'으로 번역되지만, '최고의 생'으로 번역할 수도 있다. 이 낱말은 '신들의 총애를 받은'이라는 뜻이니까 중국어의 '복'과 아주 비슷하지만, '복'보다는 인생 전체에 대한 판단과 훨씬 밀접하게 결부된다. 기원전 6세기 아테니의 위대한 입법가인 솔론은, 살아 있는 사람을 행복한 사람이라고 부를 수는 없다고 말했다. 죽은 뒤에야 비로소 그 사람의 생애를 요약하고 평가할 수 있기 때문에, 죽기 전에는 그 사람이 행복한지 어떤지 모른다는 것이다. (1장 행복을 찾아서 중에서)


자료 2: 아리스토텔레스의 니코마코스 윤리학에 나타난 에우다이모니아와 습관형성 연구
출처: 교육철학(2008.12)
지은이: 김현숙

※ 메모:
에우다이모니아는 happiness와는 달리 ‘상태’나 ‘취향’이 아니라, ‘활동’이며, 아리스토텔레스는 에우다이모니아를 덕의 실천으로 보지, 그냥 덕을 지니고 있는 것으로는 보지 않는다(1098b31-1099a20). 공리주의의 ‘happiness’에 익숙한 현대인들은 ‘상태’를 나타내는 ‘happiness’와 ‘활동’을 포함하는 에우다이모니아의 확연히 다른 이 두 개념을 쉽게 혼동할 수도 있어서 (...)

자료 3: Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

“Eudaimonia” is an Aristotelian term loosely (and inadequately) translated as happiness. To understand its role in virtue ethics we look to Aristotle’s function argument. Aristotle recognizes that actions are not pointless because they have an aim. Every action aims at some good. For example, the doctor’s vaccination of the baby aims at the baby’s health, the English tennis player Tim Henman works on his serve so that he can win Wimbledon, and so on. Furthermore, some things are done for their own sake (ends in themselves) and some things are done for the sake of other things (means to other ends). Aristotle claims that all the things that are ends in themselves also contribute to a wider end, an end that is the greatest good of all. That good is eudaimonia. Eudaimonia is happiness, contentment, and fulfillment; it’s the name of the best kind of life, which is an end in itself and a means to live and fare well.

Aristotle then observes that where a thing has a function the good of the thing is when it performs its function well. For example, the knife has a function, to cut, and it performs its function well when it cuts well. This argument is applied to man: man has a function and the good man is the man who performs his function well. Man’s function is what is peculiar to him and sets him aside from other beings—reason. Therefore, the function of man is reason and the life that is distinctive of humans is the life in accordance with reason. If the function of man is reason, then the good man is the man who reasons well. This is the life of excellence or of eudaimonia. Eudaimonia is the life of virtue—activity in accordance with reason, man’s highest function.

The importance of this point of eudaimonistic virtue ethics is that it reverses the relationship between virtue and rightness. A utilitarian could accept the value of the virtue of kindness, but only because someone with a kind disposition is likely to bring about consequences that will maximize utility. So the virtue is only justified because of the consequences it brings about. In eudaimonist virtue ethics the virtues are justified because they are constitutive elements of eudaimonia (that is, human flourishing and wellbeing), which is good in itself.

Rosalind Hursthouse developed one detailed account of eudaimonist virtue ethics. Hursthouse argues that the virtues make their possessor a good human being. All living things can be evaluated qua specimens of their natural kind. Like Aristotle, Hursthouse argues that the characteristic way of human beings is the rational way: by their very nature human beings act rationally, a characteristic that allows us to make decisions and to change our character and allows others to hold us responsible for those decisions. Acting virtuously—that is, acting in accordance with reason—is acting in the way characteristic of the nature of human beings and this will lead to eudaimonia. This means that the virtues benefit their possessor. One might think that the demands of morality conflict with our self-interest, as morality is other-regarding, but eudaimonist virtue ethics presents a different picture. Human nature is such that virtue is not exercised in opposition to self-interest, but rather is the quintessential component of human flourishing. The good life for humans is the life of virtue and therefore it is in our interest to be virtuous. It is not just that the virtues lead to the good life (e.g. if you are good, you will be rewarded), but rather a virtuous life is the good life because the exercise of our rational capacities and virtue is its own reward.

It is important to note, however, that there have been many different ways of developing this idea of the good life and virtue within virtue ethics. Philippa Foot, for example, grounds the virtues in what is good for human beings. The virtues are beneficial to their possessor or to the community (note that this is similar to MacIntyre’s argument that the virtues enable us to achieve goods within human practices). Rather than being constitutive of the good life, the virtues are valuable because they contribute to it.

Another account is given by perfectionists such as Thomas Hurka, who derive the virtues from the characteristics that most fully develop our essential properties as human beings. Individuals are judged against a standard of perfection that reflects very rare or ideal levels of human achievement. The virtues realize our capacity for rationality and therefore contribute to our well-being and perfection in that sense. (...)

자료 4: Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The principal idea with which Aristotle begins is that there are differences of opinion about what is best for human beings, and that to profit from ethical inquiry we must resolve this disagreement. He insists that ethics is not a theoretical discipline: we are asking what the good for human beings is not simply because we want to have knowledge, but because we will be better able to achieve our good if we develop a fuller understanding of what it is to flourish. In raising this question—what is the good?—Aristotle is not looking for a list of items that are good. He assumes that such a list can be compiled rather easily; most would agree, for example, that it is good to have friends, to experience pleasure, to be healthy, to be honored, and to have such virtues as courage at least to some degree. The difficult and controversial question arises when we ask whether certain of these goods are more desirable than others. Aristotle's search for the good is a search for the highest good, and he assumes that the highest good, whatever it turns out to be, has three characteristics: it is desirable for itself, it is not desirable for the sake of some other good, and all other goods are desirable for its sake.

Aristotle thinks everyone will agree that the terms “eudaimonia” (“happiness”) and “eu zên” (“living well”) designate such an end. The Greek term “eudaimon” is composed of two parts: “eu” means “well” and “daimon” means “divinity” or “spirit.” To be eudaimon is therefore to be living in a way that is well-favored by a god. But Aristotle never calls attention to this etymology, and it seems to have little influence on his thinking. He regards “eudaimon” as a mere substitute for eu zên (“living well”). These terms play an evaluative role, and are not simply descriptions of someone's state of mind.

No one tries to live well for the sake of some further goal; rather, being eudaimon is the highest end, and all subordinate goals—health, wealth, and other such resources—are sought because they promote well-being, not because they are what well-being consists in. But unless we can determine which good or goods happiness consists in, it is of little use to acknowledge that it is the highest end. To resolve this issue, Aristotle asks what the ergon (“function,” “task,” “work”) of a human being is, and argues that it consists in activity of the rational part of the soul in accordance with virtue (1097b22-1098a20). One important component of this argument is expressed in terms of distinctions he makes in his psychological and biological works. The soul is analyzed into a connected series of capacities: the nutritive soul is responsible for growth and reproduction, the locomotive soul for motion, the perceptive soul for perception, and so on. The biological fact Aristotle makes use of is that human beings are the only species that has not only these lower capacities but a rational soul as well. The good of a human being must have something to do with being human; and what sets humanity off from other species, giving us the potential to live a better life, is our capacity to guide ourselves by using reason. If we use reason well, we live well as human beings; or, to be more precise, using reason well over the course of a full life is what happiness consists in. Doing anything well requires virtue or excellence, and therefore living well consists in activities caused by the rational soul in accordance with virtue or excellence.

Aristotle's conclusion about the nature of happiness is in a sense uniquely his own. No other writer or thinker had said precisely what he says about what it is to live well. But at the same time his view is not too distant from a common idea. As he himself points out, one traditional conception of happiness identifies it with virtue (1098b30-1). Aristotle's theory should be construed as a refinement of this position. He says, not that happiness is virtue, but that it is virtuous activity. Living well consists in doing something, not just being in a certain state or condition. It consists in those lifelong activities that actualize the virtues of the rational part of the soul.

At the same time, Aristotle makes it clear that in order to be happy one must possess others goods as well—such goods as friends, wealth, and power. And one's happiness is endangered if one is severely lacking in certain advantages—if, for example, one is extremely ugly, or has lost children or good friends through death (1099a31-b6). But why so? If one's ultimate end should simply be virtuous activity, then why should it make any difference to one's happiness whether one has or lacks these other types of good? Aristotle's reply is that one's virtuous activity will be to some extent diminished or defective, if one lacks an adequate supply of other goods (1153b17-19). Someone who is friendless, childless, powerless, weak, and ugly will simply not be able to find many opportunities for virtuous activity over a long period of time, and what little he can accomplish will not be of great merit. To some extent, then, living well requires good fortune; happenstance can rob even the most excellent human beings of happiness. Nonetheless, Aristotle insists, the highest good, virtuous activity, is not something that comes to us by chance. Although we must be fortunate enough to have parents and fellow citizens who help us become virtuous, we ourselves share much of the responsibility for acquiring and exercising the virtues.

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