Aristotle’s Virtue Ethics foundational principle resides in happiness. Aristotle believes that the goal of human life is to be happy, but to live a happy, moral life; an individual needs to be virtuous in character. To help us understand this, Aristotle first explains that there are two kinds of virtues: intellectual virtue and moral virtue. Intellectual virtue can be learned through teaching, which requires experience and time. Moral virtue on the other hand, comes as the result from habit. Aristotle believes that every individual has the capability to be virtuous, however just because they have that capability, it does not mean they use it correctly. Moreover, because being morally virtuous is a form of habit, it is something that can be learned and it is tied to their actions and passions. For example, every person can get angry, but it is a choice to how angry they get. Thus, virtue is a principle that attempts to establish a “golden mean” between extremes of responsive behavior. In order to be virtuous, an individual has to avoid being too excessive or too deficient in their actions, rather they have to find the middle ground between the two. If an individual can find the middle ground between being too excessive or too deficient in an action or situation, then Aristotle would consider them to be a virtuous person. It is important to note that to able to habitually hit the “mean” is a long process and is a skill that can be developed. Also, not every situation or action
In the book Nichomachean Ethics by Aristotle, Aristotle tries explain to us what the ultimate goal of the human life. He says that every activity we participate in has and ultimate goal or an end. He states that happiness is the ultimate goal in life and that every activity we engage in our daily lives is to achieve happiness. Since all activities we engage in have an end then he says that happiness is the highest of all ends. So as human beings the goal of life is to achieve the highest of all ends. Happiness is the highest end because it is sought after for itself and is not used as a means to something else. And since happiness is not used to reach something else it is considered the highest of all goods.
Aristotle’s notions of virtues are the heart of the subject matter in Aretaic Ethics. The concept of Aretaic ethics comes from the Greek word “arete” which translates as human excellence or excellence of character, virtue (Virtue Ethics, 2013). Virtue ethics emphasizes being a certain person with certain quality of character. Its basic concept is that the virtue or value of the actions is not in the act itself, rather it is in the heart of the actor. Though it may seem not overly compatible with today’s notions, I believe Aristotle’s notions of virtues are an important precursor towards self fulfillment and harmonized society.
Aristotle argues that practice virtues, and learning from virtuous people enable us to flourish. To become a good person, we must practice virtuous acts regularly. Gradually, these acts become our habits. Good habits and moral virtues are the principle to have a good and happy life. Virtuous people train us how to be more virtuous. Aristotle explains that if we want to achieve moral excellence, we need to practice the virtues. Moreover, we need virtues friends, and a moral exemplar to imitate them to improve our virtues. As we develop our moral behavior, we gradually will find more happiness in our lives. Although Aristotle admits that health, success, and money play an important role to make a person happy, he argues that the virtues are the most important factors that determine one is truly happy or not. So, just thinking of virtues is not
“Aristotle and the Ethics of Virtue and Character” explains the “theories” that make up a moral situation. First, we have expectations for the outcome of a moral situation to be utilitarian or sometimes produce another desirable result. We also have restraints that govern the actions we make to produce those outcomes. Last, certain character traits define who is prepared to perform the necessary actions and be content with the results. Aristotle’s “The Moral Virtues” explains how the mean of an excess and a deficit is the virtue. It is nearly impossible to act perfectly within the mean, which is why Aristotle recommends that one keep away from the extreme that is more opposed to the mean, be wary of pleasant things, and notice the direction (toward excess or deficit) toward which one, personally, will tend. Finally, in “Habit and Virtue,” Aristotle defines virtue as a result of habituation. Character is developed through the repetition of activities, and therefore the aim of the
Aristotle one of the best philosopher in our history developed a moral system in which brings virtue, and it tells us what the best type of act we can do. According to Aristotle, “The virtuous act is the mean between two extremes, which are vices; for example courage is the mean between rashness and cowardice” (Cahn 135). This means that we should have control of our emotions, and think how we are going to act, then we will be making a virtuous act. When a person acts with courage he will become virtuous because he practiced being courageous. He will become what he practices. However Aristotle’s system does not
Nicomachean Ethics teaches that in all the activities that we aim to accomplish, the good should be something final and self-sufficient. Aristotle explains, “Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and pursuit, is thought to aim at some good” (Aristotle 624). Aristotle tells us as the reader that our virtues are the reason why we chose to pursue things that we like and stay away from the things that we do not like. We chose to be around things that brings us joy. Virtue is defined as a moral excellence. Aristotle explains, “Since things that are found in the soul are of three kinds – passions, faculties, states of character – virtues must be one of these” (Aristotle 627). An example of passion can be a fear or something that
In the book Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle uses his collection of lecture notes in order to establish the best way to live and acquire happiness. Aristotle says, “Virtue, then, is a state that decides consisting in a mean, the mean relative to us,.. .It is a mean between two vices, one of excess and one of deficiency.” The virtues that Aristotle speaks about in Nicomachean Ethics are: bravery, temperance, generosity, magnificence, magnanimity, and mildness. According to Aristotle, in order to live a happy life you must obtain these virtues and be morally good. Living a virtuous life is not an activity, but a predisposition. This means that you are genuinely inclined to act virtuously for the appropriate reasons.
In the book Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle discusses the nature of ethics and its connection to human existence. He later turns to the nature of virtue, which he sees as traits that allows people to live well in communities. He finds that to be happy social institutions are necessary, therefore the thought that there is a moral person cannot exist apart from the political setting that one develops their virtues for a good life from. After Aristotle found ethics a part of politics, he found that moral virtues and intellectual virtues are different from one another. Intellectual virtues can be taught but moral have to be lived in order to learn and together they are to sought to bring a happy life (Aristotle, pg. 508).
Aristotle argues that virtues lie between (mean) two vices one of excess and one of deficiency and that virtues are determined through reason; if one acts in accordance with virtues then they are deemed to be good of character. Moral virtues, or good traits, are “attained” through habitual doing of such acts and in turn such acts determine one’s character. One must consciously do what is right for oneself. By that I mean, one
How to come to this decision, three questions will be answered, the first how does one become a virtuous person? The second is decision- making compared to the other approaches? Finally, the criticism of virtue from Aristotle, what are they?
Aristotle, in the Nicomachean Ethics, asserts that every ethical virtue aims at what is noble. In order to establish his definition of nobility, Aristotle takes the example of the virtue of courage. This virtue aims at what is noble, namely the common good, and this noble end is reached through courageous acts done by a brave man. There is a direct relationship between becoming good and loving what is noble. In order to become a good person, one must be conditioned to love what is noble and hate what is ignoble. This person will develop the proper character and be able to perform virtuous acts. One cannot become good without reverence for nobility. Furthermore, there also is a direct relationship between ethics and what is noble. Ethics
Aristotle’s virtue ethics is engrossed in this story through and through. The “highest good”, while it may not be applicable to the people hurt by the hurricane, can be seen in the actions of J.J. as well as Mark Cuban. The fact that they were able to put this complex of a mission together on such short notice is not only an attribute to their virtues and rationality but can also be herald to their ability to complete such a task so well; functionality. To simply donate a few dollars would have been an example of completing one's function to support the relief but to use privately owned property, donate, and start a fundraiser that is now raking in aid and money to help the city rebuild is to go above and beyond normal functionality. The virtue
Aristotle was a highly respected and well-known Greek philosopher, who studied both science and ethics in abundant detail. When someone famous like that writes his thoughts down on paper, and has great advice for you in your life, you tend to pay attention. In Aristotle’s papers, the Nicomachean Ethics: he defines virtue as “states of character acquired through habituation, through acting repeatedly in the way that a virtuous person would act, until virtuous action becomes second nature” (Aristotle, 1999). I love the way he defines it as being habitual, because we learn it. We don’t just have it from the start. Virtue is something that is taught to us over time. It is something that we need to maintain in order to keep. What virtues do I have in my life and how do I know if they are authentic?