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Aristotle and Looney Tunes

  • Date Submitted: 05/03/2011 10:38 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 56.8 
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Looney Tunes and Aristotle

The incontinent Daffy Duck is the ultimate moral villain of Looney Tunes and the continent Bugs Bunny our ultimate moral hero. That is to say that the continent psychological type is better than the temperate and the incontinent is worse than the vicious and even the bestial. On the surface this is an extremely contentious assessment and in order to make sense of this intuition we need to first construct an account of moral worth by which such an evaluation can be based upon. This account of moral worth will open our discussion and will centre around the idea that those worthy of higher moral praise are those that do the right thing after overcoming their desires to do wrong. Equally, those that do the wrong thing against their better judgment and succumb to their desires should be morally condemned. A description of Aristotle’s types including the temperate, the continent, the incontinent, the vicious and the bestial will follow using some familiar characters to paint a clearer picture. We shall then turn our attention to evaluating these types. Aristotle and Kant have both offered their opinions and consequent evaluations on these categories of people. Through an analysis of their ideas we will note that they seem to agree on their rankings in terms of which character type is subjectively preferable but disagree in terms of which character type is worthy of moral praise. After considering Aristotle’s and Kant’s arguments in terms of which character type deserves our moral praise it will become clear that our evaluation of moral worth resides closer to Kant’s evaluation. A justification of this quasi Kantian ranking of the character types will wrap up our discussion and deem the continent Bugs Bunny better than the temperate Tweety Bird and the incontinent Daffy Duck worse than the vicious Yosemite Sam and even the bestial Taz.
  I. Moral worth as overcoming bad desires
To make a judgement for better or worse must depend on exactly...


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