1. Aristotle argues that if human beings, as human beings, have a proper function (something that we seem specifically designed to do, and which distinguishes us from plants and animals) then genuine human happiness (i.e., a truly flourishing and blessed life) would seem to lie in fulfilling that function–in other words, living the kind of life a human being is meant to live and living it well. (Remember, “happiness” is not to be understood as a feeling, but as a flourishing life.) What is this “proper function” that Aristotle has in mind? Do you agree that this is our proper function? If not, what else could be our proper function, as a human being?
2. Aristotle argues that people are not born either virtuous or vicious, but become one or the other by developing certain characteristics over time. Do you agree with his view? What evidence can you cite to support your position?
James White’s Contemporary Moral Problems, 10th ed. (Stamford, CT:
Cengage Learning, 2012).