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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Essay for Quiz on February 16th

Latham Crihfield
Dr. Phil Oliver
Intro to Philosophy (PHIL 1030-008)
February 23, 2017

                                    Date Missed: Quiz for Thursday, February 16th
         This essay is to make up for the quiz on the missed day of February 16th, 2017. Life has delivered us many idioms of the course of several hundred years. There is one famous idiom that we all may or may not have heard: “One swallow does not make a summer.” The legendary Greek philosopher Aristotle first coined this idiom. Like all idioms, this particular one has a unique meaning behind it. Now what Aristotle meant by his idiom of “one swallow doesn’t make a summer” was that just because you say something good has happened does not mean that one or more good things will happen afterwards to improve on whatever situation you are in. In this case, if you happen to see a swallow, it does not mean that the summer season will happen right after or later on. Another example might be if you see a four-leaf clover, it does not mean that you will become rich. With that in mind, let us now focus on the lesson of virtues and self-happiness. Now, the Greek term “eudaimonoia” often means happiness or welfare, particularly over personal agendas or calmness in oneself. In order to increase our chances of improving our personal welfare, or eudaimonia, we must practice self-control, create motivation for ourselves, and focus on our own well-being and personal agendas. We cannot achieve eudaimonia however, without first having a set of virtues. Virtues are our own versions of having high moral standards that are specific characteristics to be valued; it is a vital trait or quality of an individual that is deemed morally good. Virtues are considered a foundation of higher principles of good moral beings. “Truth by authority” is knowledge based on authority. This kind of “truth”, however, may depend on the reputation of the individual or upon the institution of authority, like a well-known university or the government of Greece. If the truth comes from a person of high standards, such as a king or a governor of a city or town, their truth is considered of higher value than that of a show polisher or carpenter or even a homeless person who has been living in the dirt and mud for many years now. This kind of authority can be harmful to people’s philosophies or philosophy in general. It can forcefully obtain or censor knowledge, or perhaps it can intervene on an individual’s free will and moral standards. Even worse, authoritative truth can often be imposed onto the people as the actual truth and that nothing else can challenge it. In other words, it can be considered to be the “real truth” (or “alternative truth” in today’s society, as Miss Conway so infamously coined the term “alternative facts”). Philosophy is the study of how a person seeks knowledge about the world, its environment, and its existence, and the authority of truth based on a person who’s status was higher than that of Aristotle’s status greatly affects the terms of philosophy as a result.

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