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The term good is used in many different ways, depending on the context. In general, it is considered to be a favorable result or action: He did well on the test. The food was good.
It can also refer to moral qualities: He is a good person. The president is a good man. It can also refer to a feeling: I’m feeling good today.
In philosophy, the concept of goodness is a topic of extensive discussion. Since antiquity, philosophers have generally focused on two types of good: the prudentially good and the morally good.
However, it is difficult to distinguish between the concepts of good and the properties to which they refer. This difficulty stems from the fact that there are many different properties that can be attributed to an object or action and it is impossible to determine a priori which one(s) is the correct one(s).
Foot argues that this problem can be solved by defining what kind of property a concept refers to, but this view runs into problems of its own. For example, it is not clear whether a naturalist like Foot can analyze normative concepts in terms of their causal properties or whether such a characterization is necessary.
Some philosophers, such as Ewing, have attempted to solve the problem by separating out the notions of good and fittingness, arguing that this can clarify both the nature of goods and the way in which they are applied. Other philosophers, such as Peter Geach, have argued that the concept of good is intrinsically incomprehensible and that a theory of goodness must be a metaphysical, not a conceptual, theory.
The word good is also common as an adjective: It’s a good idea to invest in a savings account; it’s a good thing that we’re moving out of this apartment; I’m glad you came, but it’s not really good to have you here. Often, it’s used as an adverb after forms of do: He did good on the test; she sees well with her new glasses. This use is less common in formal writing and edited speech. In some contexts, it’s more appropriate to use the adverb well instead.