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Economics a commodity or service that satisfies a human need



in ethics and philosophy, that which includes definite positive meaning. In philosophy the question of good was posed in attempts to explain the meaning of existence and human life and was treated as the problem of the greatest good (summum bonum in Latin, a term introduced by Aristotle); this greatest good determined the relative value of all other goods. The Greek philosophers viewed the greatest good as happiness— “eudaemonia” —the exact meaning of which was defined in various ways by representatives of different schools. For example, the Cyrenaics and Epicurus defined it as pleasure, the Cynics as abstention from passion, and Aristotle and the Stoics as virtue (in the sense of the supremacy of the higher and more rational forms of nature over the lower). Plato considered “the good” to be “the one” which is the basis of all existence. Aristotle distinguished three kinds of good: corporeal (health, strength), external (wealth, honor, glory), and spiritual (intelligence, moral virtue). In the Middle Ages, scholasticism attempted to rework the ideas of the ancient philosophers in terms of the principles of Christian theism. The result was the identification of the greatest good with god, the source of all good and the ultimate goal of human aspiration.

New European philosophy emphasized the role of the subject in determining any sort of good. T. Hobbes and B. Spinoza said that the good is that for which man is striving, that which he needs. Another development which was characteristic of new European ethics was the utilitarian interpretation of good, which reduces it to the idea of usefulness. Kant distinguished the supreme good from the absolute good. The former is good will and moral virtue; and latter requires that virtue be combined with happiness. Thereafter the concept of the good gradually lost its significance and, from the middle of the 19th century was replaced by the concept of value.

In the narrower and specifically ethical sense of the word, the concept of good is opposite to that of evil.


Material goods Economists consider material goods from two different points of view: in terms of their usefulness (their capacity for satisfying a particular human need) and in terms of how much man has contributed to their production. Accordingly, there are two kinds of value—use value and exchange value. Material goods are usually considered to include consumer goods (services as well as wares) which satisfy a great variety of human needs.


References in periodicals archive ?
Last week Philip looked annoyed as he appeared to utter a four-letter rebuke to an RAF photographer during a photocall with Battle of Britain veterans, but he was in good humour and a mischievous mood during the trip to east London.
I have been superbly looked after from the start and, having never been an in-patient, am in awe of the dedication and good humour emanating from all staff members.
What's more, at most meetings he knew more about racegoers' needs and wants than the rest of the room put together and all his inputs were provided with good humour and self-deprecation.
Katie Piper faces her future with hope, good humour and features that had to be completely rebuilt after an ex-boyfriend arranged to have acid thrown in her face.
Thanks to everyone who supported us - and to Mr Paxman for his good humour, on and off the set," said Mr Guttenplan last night.
The end of it all is a charity showcase and their devotion and good humour as they pass through the final ups and downs towards their particular baptism of fire, can be absorbing.