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The Function of Man

27 Jan

termenungThe man, in general, lives by influenced or affected by his environment, tradition, and culture. For example, when the tradition and the culture show that man’s life is for only getting job and making money, some of people will be usually influenced by the culture and tradition or they will probably be hypnotized without being aware and they will finally live in such way. It is probably like some of people in our country or even most of people who compete and sacrifice anything even doing crime or wickedness for the sake of that job. It will be fine if they show either goodness or truthfulness and perceive it in the right way. However, how if do they show a badness as a goodness? How if, is their culture wrong to perceive a goodness? We must, therefore, be aware what is right or good for our lives. Thus, it is possibly arisen to ask how we should live in the right way or how we can act in the proper way. Because we are humans, absolutely, we have to live and act like the ones. To know how to act and live as man who he really is, we must know the function of man, in other word, we must realize what is the distinctive thing for human which can make human different with other being. This ‒ the function of man ‒ is what I am going to explain, but I merely appoint it by Aristotle’s view.

Everything has absolutely their own function which is peculiar to them, like the eyes for seeing something, the feet for walking, and the same as others. Hence, because everything has their own function, the man also includes that he has a distinctive function which we don’t get and we can’t find in something else, but what is that? Aristotle begins to analyze by observing the man’s nature so that we can find about what is peculiar thing or what is the distinctive activity of human. If we can pay close attention to the end of human being, we can grasp that man’s end is merely not to live because the plants and vegetables are also to live in this world. Next there is the life of sensation, “but this again manifestly is common to horses, oxen, and every animal.”[1] The soul, according to Aristotle, is the form of the body and he divides the element of soul in man into irrational part and rational part, thus, what are mentioned above include the element of man’s soul which is irrational. Hence, there is only one thing remaining that is rational part which is a distinctive thing for human and that the other being doesn’t have it. Thus, it is clear that because the rational part is peculiar for human, we have to actualize it in order to be a man as man. We can’t, nonetheless, forget about irrational part because it is also the element of man and we also often find conflict between them (the irrational part and the rational part). Thus, we have to actualize both of them by controlling the rational part to manage and control the irrational part in order to make it being actualized.

In the theory of Aristotle’s virtue, Aristotle also divides the virtue into intellectual virtue which based on in reasoning skill and moral virtue which is like courage, liberality, temperance, modesty, generosity, and so on. To make both of them to be actualized or to create inner harmony in both of them, in Aristotle’s view, is that the intellectual virtue are cultivated through growth and experience and the moral virtue is cultivated through habit.

It is clear by the explanation which is mentioned above that to live as a man who he really is, is by actualizing the elements of man consisting of rational part and irrational part.


[1] Samuel Enoch Stumpf philosophy history and problems , united states of America, by McGraw-Hill, inc 1989, page 100.

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2013 in Philosophy

 

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