The concept of good is a term that denotes a preferred course of conduct when given a choice. It is considered the opposite of evil, and is of interest to philosophers and those studying ethics, morality, and religion. Good can refer to moral and ethical behavior, but it also applies to other behaviors. In general, the idea of what is good or bad is a universal one, and it can be discussed in several contexts.
Aristotle defines good as rational judgments aimed at achieving happiness, but does not develop the notion of an independent object. The Epicureans and Stoics, on the other hand, view good as a relative bodily pleasure, while the latter group identifies good with a passionless nature. In this way, the good is not a subjective experience, but a property of knowledge, and it can be interpreted as an objective attribute of the universe.
Aristotle’s concept of the good was influential, but is often confused with St. Thomas Aquinas’. His conception of the good incorporates many contributions from pseudo-dionysius and Aristotle, and his basic contribution lies in the treatment of the good as a general concept, as well as his explanation of the relation between metaphysics and ethics. Further, his definition of the good is akin to the concept of morality, which is rooted in a belief in the worthiness of the individual, as opposed to the value of the collective.
The adverb well modifies the verb well. It answers the question, “How did things turn out?” In other words, well should be attributed to an emotional or physical state. It should also be attributed to a state of accuracy in a person’s sense of touch. If a person is not feeling well, “I don’t feel well,” it means that the person’s sense of touch is not up to par.
Philosophers have also sought to define the notion of good. Whether it is a moral or practical concept, good is whatever has value to us. While some philosophers view good as an abstract concept, others say it is a complex, metaphysical idea that transcends the categories of human experience. Its meaning and nuances have enriched philosophy for centuries. For example, in ancient Greece, the concept of good was not limited to a single category.
Ontological good refers to a person’s corporeal-spiritual being. This concept can be compared to an anthropological exemplar and can be regarded as an “ontological good.” Ontological good is a desirable state for its own sake, and does not necessarily represent the ultimate human wellbeing. Moral good, on the other hand, refers to the ultimate good that the individual has in mind. For example, if a person is a healthy person, his health is the ultimate good.
In A Theory of Justice, philosopher John Rawls outlined a difference between an intrinsic and instrumental good. He defined an intrinsic good as something a person prefers or desires and an instrumental good as something that serves another end. On the other hand, utilitarianism focuses exclusively on money and pleasure, while empiricists emphasize the importance of the latter. But it is not clear which of these views is better. While both of these views have their merits, they have fundamental differences.