Oct 13, 2023 |

ChatGPT Rewrite of Aristotle for the Gravitas Character Formation Program

By Sean Riley

Aristotle talking to ChatGPT
Aristotle talking to ChatGPT

Our Gravitas Character Formation Program was originally written for 7-12th graders, and now that we are inviting 5-6th graders to participate, we are finding that some of the content is a bit above their reading level. Thankfully, ChatGPT has made it possible to simplify the language and concepts in some of the resources we use. For example, here is ChatGPT’s version of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics I.7, lightly edited by a human philosopher:

  1. What’s the Goal of What We Do? Aristotle says that everything we do has a goal or a “good” we’re trying to reach. For example, in medicine, the goal is to make people healthy. In sports like basketball, the goal is to win the game.
  2. What’s the Best Goal? Some goals are steps to reach other goals. Like, you might want to save money to buy a cool toy. But there are goals so good that you want them just for themselves, not to get something else. Aristotle thinks the best goal of all is “happiness” because we want it for its own sake.
  3. What’s Happiness? Aristotle says happiness is something that makes life feel complete and good all by itself. It’s not just for you alone but for your family and friends too. But don’t get it mixed up; happiness isn’t just having fun for one day. It’s about being happy over your whole life and enjoying a type of happiness that is more lasting than fun experiences.
  4. What Makes Us Special? To understand happiness better, Aristotle wonders what makes humans unique. He says that it’s our ability to think and make choices based on reason. So, the best life for a human involves using this special skill of reasoning really well.
  5. How to Be Happy? To be truly happy, you need to live a life that uses your ability to reason in the best way possible. That’s how you can become the best version of yourself.
  6. Getting it Right Takes Time Aristotle says figuring out how to be happy is like a work in progress. One good or bad day doesn’t define your life. The goal is to make the most out of your whole life.

So, in a nutshell, Aristotle is saying the best thing we can aim for in life is to be happy. And the way to do that is to use our special human ability to think and make good choices.

By collaborating with ChatGPT, we’re able to take our original content and make it more accessible to younger students. We also generated the cover photo of Aristotle talking to a robot using the DALL-E 3 integration with ChatGPT.

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