The Good in Philosophy


The good is any object that fills a need or desire and thus affords satisfaction. Philosophers refine and expand this notion of the good throughout the history of philosophy. They consider a variety of metaphysical and psychological aspects of the good. They often base their discussion on moral phenomena that they experience or perceive in the world around them. They also examine the relationship of the good to human action, and they discuss how it is related to the concepts of pleasure, happiness, morality, and God.

In everyday speech the word good is commonly used as an adverb, especially after forms of do: He did good on the test; She sees good with her new glasses. This usage is different from the meaning of good in philosophical writing. A good article meets a core set of editorial standards and passes the good article nomination process, as described below.

A good article is written in clear language and organized logically. It also contains information that is broad in coverage, neutral in tone and point of view, current, and illustrated, where appropriate, by relevant images with suitable copyright licenses. It also meets a number of other criteria, including that it does not omit any major aspect of its subject.

It is important to do thorough research before writing an article. This includes gathering factual information about your topic as well as reading scholarly and peer-reviewed articles on the same topic. It is also a good idea to take notes while researching so that you have plenty of material to draw on when writing your article. Taking detailed notes helps you remember the most important facts and makes it easier to cite them in your work.

For Plato the good is a perfectibility of the human soul that makes it possible for man to realize his highest end, which is his divine nature as a spiritual being. It is the end toward which all human actions are directed; and it is the object of man’s love and striving.

Moral Evil

In contrast to the ontological good of moral action, there is the moral evil of human choice, which consists in the absence of what ought to be present, namely, the good of the human soul’s perfection. Such evil exists only in the choices made by men, and it is the contrary of what man ought to do as an agent with a rational will.

St. Thomas Aquinas develops the concept of the good by synthesizing the teaching of Aristotle, pseudo-dionysius, and St. Augustine. He argues that the ontological good of man’s freedom is not merely a matter of being, but a kind of synthesis or order that is essentially the same as his soul. He distinguishes the good of moral action from the good of human nature, and he shows that the conscientious judgments that are the good of man are based on complex judgments that must be rooted in personal knowledge.