Appearances Vs. Reality in Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics & Steve Jobs (1660 words)

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Essay on the relationship between Aristotle's ethical theory and the history of Apple Computer.

Works Cited

Aristotle, , W D. Ross, J L. Ackrill, and J O. Urmson. The Nicomachean Ethics. Oxford (Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1998. Internet resource.

Friedman, Vanessa. “Does the Apple Watch Look Good On? Assessing From a Fashion Point of View.” Retrieved online from The New York Times.

Gomelsky, Victoria. “Can Watches Look Sharp and Be Smart?” Retrieved online from The New York Times.

Lohr, Steve. “What the Apple Watch Says About Apple.” Retrieved online from The New York Times.

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Does it look good? But Aristotle would already have a problem with that question for it mixes up “seems” with “is.” It is good. Or it isn’t. Or somewhere in between.

Apple Computer has always prided itself in keeping up a sterling public image. In this way, Apple unknowingly, or knowingly, has embroiled itself in the age-old debate about appearances and reality. Marketers work with appearances. But what do people want? They want the good stuff. Sometimes companies hurt their bottom line by deceptively churning out the seemingly good stuff without the substantial underlying goodness. It’s a problem.

When Apple executives revealed their new Apple Watch the New York Times ran a story that spoke about how Apple presents itself as a company with taste. It is interesting, however that when journalists were allowed into Apple’s “secret” gallery room to try on the Apple Watch for the first time, it was very much a planned event. Nothing ought to go awry in the unveiling of a new product. Apple takes a lot of care not to reveal its imperfections. On the one hand, it is admirable that the company tries to show its best face, but, on the other hand, showing one’s best face is not the same as appearing too perfect. Aristotle lights on this problematic when he talks about how people are “apt to follow appearances” (131). Even if the Apple Watch performed perfectly, it would not sell well if its design were not beautiful. Who would purchase a perfectly well fitted-watch that was not pleasing to the eye? So, in this way, one cannot escape appearances, in the same way that an ugly man, who wants to be a supermodel, cannot escape the ineluctable nature of his own physical unseemliness will bar him from commercial success as a pinup model. As Aristotle mentions, there are some things that strip “the lustre” from happiness (14). We all know that judging by appearances is natural, especially when first meeting a person, or being introduced to a product, but looks can be deceiving....
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