(philosophy) The greatest good; the ultimate importance, the singular and most ultimate end which human beings ought to pursue.
Origin of summum-bonum
Latin summumneuter ofsummushighestbonumgood
American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
From medieval philosophy; Latin for the highest good.
Summum-bonum Sentence Examples
It is true that pleasure is the summum bonum of Epicurus, but his conception of that pleasure is profoundly modified by the Socratic doctrine of prudence and the eudaemonism of Aristotle.
His views on the summum bonum are not clearly known even to his disciple and successor Clitomachus.
If, however, we abandon intuitional ethics, it is reasonable to argue that the term summum bonum ceases to have any real significance inasmuch as actions are not intrinsically good or bad, while the complete sceptic strives after no systematic ideal.
Aristotle, who speaks highly of the sincerity of Eudoxus's convictions, while giving a qualified approval to his arguments, considers him wrong in not distinguishing the different kinds of pleasure and in making pleasure the summum bonum.
The summum bonum is the maximum of pleasure with the minimum of pain.