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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 ?
Bankers and politicians helped to show that the Noughties wayoutwest Steve Dub in Carmarthen We learned that nothing could stop good-for-nothings who earn very large sums of money giving themselves enormous bonuses for doing what they're paid to do, whether they're any good or not.
THOSE MPs and Tory pundits so quick to condemn Cherie Blair for "cashing in" on her husband's position have been eloquently quiet about the latest revelations concerning Lady Thatcher when she was PM and the iffy finances of her good-for-nothing son.
After one particularly bad, Nick Leeson-like term as a lazy, good-for-nothing student, things were getting desperate.
I'm sorry, but if Andrew is trying to erase his public image as the Lazy Good-for-Nothing Prince and replace it with the Caring Sharing Prince he should go and practice somewhere else.
Your wife inherits your pension, puts your urn on the mantelpiece as a mark of respect, forgets to dust it, hides it in a cupboard (because it reminds her of you and gives her the creeps), gets a facelift and breast implants and then squanders all your hard-earned money on some lazy, good-for-nothing toyboy with a washboard stomach who spends half of it on Viagra and sniffs the other half in powdered form.
It tells the story of Bernadette (Helen McCrory), a mother of four who sets off to find her good-for-nothing husband Spendlove (John Hannah) after she finds herself burned out of her home.
But the good-for-nothings are like thorns to be thrown away; that cannot be picked up by the hand.
Michele Sharon Jaffe, The Story of O: Prostitutes and Other Good-for-Nothings in the Renaissance