There are many definitions of good. For example, a washing machine that cleans clothes well and saves water is a good example. Other examples of good include a chair that can comfortably accommodate a larger person and a pair of glasses with 20/20 vision. For others, it might be a comfortable chair that makes you feel joyful and comfortable. If you’re having a difficult time deciding which definition of good to accept, consider the following:
Plato’s philosophical works include the Symposium, which lays out the principles underlying the concept of good. In this work, Plato suggests that good is a fundamental principle, which is the basis of all knowledge. This unity is also the basis for the unity of knowledge that Plato describes in the Republic. Further, he identifies a moral system that is based on good.
Good is a very complex concept, and no one definition will encompass it completely. It is a concept that has been derived from the early understanding of man, and this development reveals a richness of meanings. However, it is difficult to define good in more simple terms, which is why we need to trace the development of the concept.
In contemporary philosophy, the concept of good is defined as an evolving dynamic. The ontological good is defined as action that gives rise to the new. Moral good is embodied in the life of a model person. Ultimately, both are expressed in the act of being. The latter embodies the unique originality of existence.
Ontological good is a man’s corporeal-spiritual being. Compared to an anthropological exemplar, ontological good is desirable for its own sake, but does not necessarily represent ultimate human wellbeing. The moral good is the ultimate good. It is the ultimate state of well-being.
The act of man is considered to be good when it is undertaken with the knowledge of its purpose and is free to act. It has power to affirm its being or defeat it. In this way, it is the ultimate decision-making process. The act of doing a good act is right, while a bad act is wrong.