The Philosophy of Good


Good is a term used to describe things that we consider desirable or pleasurable. It can also refer to what we consider useful. A good person is one who follows a norm of moral goodness. These norms are chosen by appropriately situated individuals out of self-interest.

There are two major competing traditions in the philosophy of good. One tradition begins with Aristotle and continues through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The other tradition, which runs from John Dewey to Ralph Barton Perry, is a nondeontological tradition.

In both traditions, good is considered to be an object of value. But the difference between the two traditions is not just in the meaning of the term. This difference is found in the way that these traditions understand what it means to be an object of value.

Both traditions construe good as an internal or immanent property, but the meaning of good is different in each. In the teleological tradition, the good is regarded as the fulfillment of natural ends, whereas the intrinsic or extrinsic good is regarded as a result of human modes of perception or aesthetic response.

The scholastic tradition teaches that the basic difference between good and bad is simply a matter of natural law. Good is a virtue of the soul. Therefore, it is good to act in accordance with nature. Hence, if an action is contrary to nature, it is wrong.

In a moral context, the good is an essential element in the formation of moral values. Therefore, we need to know what good is and what it is not. Plato specifies in his Republic that the unity of knowledge is founded on good. Similarly, St. Thomas aquinas explains the connection between ethics and metaphysics in a subtle way, relating good to moral action.

While there are a variety of theories that deal with good, they all essentially involve the question of what it is to be an object of value. However, while these accounts provide a general framework, the precise meaning of the term is left to individual philosophers. Some of these philosophers conceive of good as a simple, indefinable property, while others conceive of it as a kind of organic unity.

Another way of defining good is through the use of its adjective. The word “good” is derived from the Greek root g-i-t-e, which translates as “pleasure,” and can thus be considered to be a pleasure. For example, when a person has a nice time at a restaurant, they are enjoying the good.

When the term good is formulated in terms of subjective value, it refers to what is valuable in the sense that it adds to the individual. Thus, the perfective good is a quality that adds to an individual’s best qualities and skills.

An example of the good is sunsets, which are beautiful. Similarly, a good Catholic girl adheres to the principles of a particular cause, such as justice, and abides by them.

However, the good does not necessarily have to be pleasurable. For example, there are other good acts, such as taking a shower or getting a haircut. Generally speaking, though, the more being an act provides, the more desirable it is.