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Aristotle and Plato

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The assertions of the two philosophers are very relevant to today’s society. These philosophies would do a lot in guiding and educating Americans with regard to the issue of consumerism. Some people might, however, argue that these ideas need to be refined or even provide counter arguments to the assertions of the two philosophers.

The Aristotelian philosophy with regard to pleasure and happiness would consider consumerism to be negative, if undertaken without a consideration of resultant effects (Chase and Aristotle 160-165). While this is a very valid argument and would result in happiness in the long term, human beings are given to flights of fancy. This theory of human beings is taking into account antecedent factors before engaging in pleasure would go against human nature. Human nature in some instances derives a lot of pleasure from a freedom of acting without restrictions such as thinking of consequences. Some people would also argue that Aristotle in arguing for a scenario in which people opt for pleasures that are more beneficial fails to take into account the psychological nature of human beings. Some issues such as pleasure and happiness are in some instances the function of peer pressure as opposed to logic and reason. Since human nature is given to fickleness resulting in the joneses syndrome, it is impractical to expect logical reasoning in the issue of consumerism.

Plato’s philosophy of happiness and pleasure would also be subject to criticism by scholars. Some scholars would deem the notion of extreme action put forth by Plato to be incomplete. They would put forth that the notion of extreme and acceptable action is a matter of societal conception and hence Plato in arguing for adherence to the median measures of ethics is wrong. Actions are subject to differences in culture which would consider actions acceptable and unacceptable in different levels. Some people would also consider the insistence on logic and reasoning in purchasing to be unattainable since they have differences in their ways of thinking. What may seem logical and reasonable to one person, will be considered illogical by another. The assertion that there needs to be a balance between reason and pleasure fails to take into consideration that the idea of perfect balance is impossible. More realist position would involve either more of pleasure or more of logic. A combination leading to more of either component would thus lead to an imperfect state of harmony which is the normal state of events.

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