Ethics in Pinocchio
In philosophy ethics is very important and is all about the study of morality and the concept of what is good and what is bad. Being that ethics is used in our everyday lives, ethics can also be found in movies that have been made and real world problems that are found on the news. There are also many different branches and types of ethics. For example there is; metaethics, deontology, utilitarianism, and virtue ethics. The one that stuck out to me the most is virtue ethics.
Virtue ethics was developed by Aristotle. Which is also seen as and called Aristotelean ethics. Instead of telling someone how to act, virtue ethics tells you how to be. It is an ethical theory which focuses on our individual character instead of telling us to follow the set rules that have been made. Aristotle thought that we should mainly focus on whether or not we are good people before anything. Virtue ethics develops our character. There are two different types of characteristics, virtue (good characteristics), and vice (bad characteristics). There is also excess, which is where you can have too much virtue. With virtue you need to use the “just right” amount, not too much and not too little.
In my eyes virtue ethics should be used more in todays society and should be seen as what we want to be like. Having good virtue and good characteristics is something that everyone should want. The world today has so many vice characteristics and things happening to where we need to put our virtue before anything or nothing is ever going to change in the world. Virtue ethics is seen in many different movies and real world problems, but the one I chose to do is the movie Pinocchio.
Pinocchio is a well known Disney movie that was made in 1940. This movie was made as a morality tale and to intrust children on the right and wrong things to do. This movie has a philisophical side to it with the virtue ethics put into it, just in a form that children can understand.
Mister Geppetto, Pinocchio’s father/ maker, wanted Pinocchio to come to life really bad and wished to a star that he would. That night the blue fairy brought Pinocchio to life and gave him a conscience, Jiminy Cricket. When Pinocchio was brought to life from his wooden state he was told that if he wanted to be seen as and become a “real boy,” he would have to have honesty, bravery, and unselfishness. He was also told that to be a “real boy” he is responisble for his actions. In this movie Pinocchio is the moral agent and is trying to reach his happiness by becoming a “real boy” and to do that he has to establish good characteristics.
As the movie progresses Pinocchio is told he is starting school. He begins to have a hard time and can not even begin to chose between right and wrong, and does not understand the difference between the two. Being that he came from nothing and did not know anything, he does not understand what good characteristics, virtue ethics, is and entails.
Before Pinocchio went off to school Jiminy wanted to explain temptations to him before he went out into the real world. He tried explaining it in a way a child could understand and be able to grasp onto and use, but it did not come out that way to Pinocchio. Jiminiy said, ” wrong things that seem right at the time, but even though the right things may seem wrong sometimes, and sometimes the wrong things may be right at the wrong time, visa versa.” Jiminy asked did Pinocchio did he understand and he started to say yes, but then said no, but then said he would be good. Jiminy is trying here to tell Pinocchio that temptations are vices (bad characteristics), and is trying to tell him to stay away from them. He also tells Pinocchio that whenever he needs his “conscience” he can whistle and he will help. Which is talking about that if you ever do not know what to do think to your conscience, your rational mind, and it will always point you in the right direction on doing the right things.
Pinocchio finally is off to school and is left alone because Jiminy did not wake up. Being that he is baby like in the mind and does not understand much he does not know the bad in the world he is walking around in. He runs into Honest John and and Gideon who try to get Pinocchio to come with them to “act,” and goes along with it not knowing their true intentions. When Jiminy catches up he realizes that Pinocchio has made a choice of not going to school. He tries to tell him to go, but Pinocchio does not listen. Jiminy leaves Pinocchio because he feels as if he does not need him anymore after he becomes a hit on the stage. That night when locked in the cage by Strombolio, he then realizes that going with them instead was the wrong decision to make. When Jiminy finds him in the cage the blue fairy proceeds to come and free him. Pinocchio lies to the fairy, against his conscience, and his nose grows. His nose growing is to show him that lying is a bad thing to do and it does not bring good characteristic. Which is a consequence for a vice action. He then goes and makes another wrong choice to go to Treasure Island and