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The theory leans, therefore, to dualism, and its influence may be traced through the early Gnostic and Manichaean heresies, and, in a minor degree, in the doctrines of the Priscillanists and Albigenses.
Aristotle Starting from the Platonic definition, good is that which all desire, Aristotle, rejecting the Platonic doctrine of a transcendent world of ideas, holds that the good and being are identical; good is not something added to being, it is being.
Plato According to Plato, in the objective order corresponding to our thought, there are two different worlds: the world of things, and the incomparably higher, nobler world of ideas, which transcends the world of things.
The objects corresponding directly to our universal concepts are not things, but ideas.
Now, among ideas the noblest and highest is the idea good: it is the supreme and sovereign idea.
Whatever things possess goodness have it only because they participate in or draw from, the Sovereign Good.
The series of means and ends either stretches out indefinitely, or it must terminate in some desired object or objects which are ends in themselves.
Again we sometimes call a thing good because it possesses completely, or in a high degree, the perfections proper to its nature, as a good painting, good respiration.
In order to fix its philosophical significance we may begin by observing that the word is employed firstly as an adjective and secondly as a substantive.
If it is sought for itself, it is or it is estimated by us to be a good, and therefore desirable on its own account.
When we take some step to obtain it, it is the end of our action.
The speculations of Plato and Aristotle, especially have had a notable influence on Christian thought; they were adopted, in eclectic fashion, by the early Fathers, who combined many of the ancient philosophic ideas with revealed truth, by correcting some and amplifying others.
The synthesis was carried on by the earlier Scholastics, and took definitive form from the hand of St. Some of his predecessors, as well as some of his followers, disagree with him on a few minor points, most of which, however, are of a character too subtle to call for attention in this article. Thomas in outline as the approved teaching of our schools.