Aristotle and Plato both said that there are four "natural virtues": Justice, Prudence, Temperance, and Fortitude. These values are all necessary to achieve human flourishing. Another key part of Aristotle’s ethic is what he referred to as ‘The Golden Mean’. He believed that a virtue can not necessarily be viewed as a virtue when it is used in excess. For example, courage is a virtue, but in excess it becomes rashness, a vice rather than a virtue. Moreover, when there is a lack of a certain virtue, this is also considered a vice. Aristotle's ethic is based primarily on balance. There cannot be too much excess or too little of the virtue. Thus, he said: "The mean [i.e. the balance] is successful and commendable. Virtue then is a state of deliberate moral purpose consisting in a mean that is relative to ourselves, the mean being determined by reason, or as a prudent man would determine it.”
With the possible exception of Plato, Aristotle is the most influential philosopher in the history of logical thought. Logic into this century was basically Aristotelian logic. Aristotle dominated the study of the natural sciences until modern times. Aristotle, in some aspect, was the founder of biology; Charles Darwin considered him as the most important contributor to the subject. Aristotle’s Poetic, the first work of literary notice, had a string influence on the theory and practice of modern drama. Aristotle’s great influence is due to the fact that he seemed to offer a system, which although lacked in certain respects, was as a whole matchless in its extent.
Aristotle was born in circa 384 B.C in Stagira, Greece(Aristotle ‘384-322 B.C.E.’ par 1). Both of his parents had a connection in the field of medicine and his father Nichomachus was the court physician to King Amyntas of Macedonia (Gill par 1) his first close tie to the kingdom. His parents passed away when he was young, and at the age of 17, his guardian and sister's husband, Proxenus, sent him to Athens, to complete his education (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy par 3). Proxenus also taught Aristotle Greek, rhetoric and poetry (“Aristotle.” Aristotle Biography par 6). In Athens, Aristotle enrolled into Plato's academy, studying under him for 20 years and even taught at the academy (Dunn par 1).
Plato’s moral theory consisted of the concept of the soul and the concept of virtue as function. To Plato, the soul has three parts; reason, spirit, and appetite. The reason we do things is to reach a goal or value, our spirit drives us to accomplish our goal, and our desire for things is our appetite. The three virtues that must be fulfilled to reach the fourth, general virtue are temperance, courage, and wisdom,
During our childhood, we are continuously reminded that too much of a good thing is not always “good”, or in this case, virtuous. In American culture, alcohol quickly becomes a vice that becomes prominent during many students’ time during their high school and college years . Many students drink when they come to college for the thrill that coincides with rebellious acts during their youth. As we mature, we try to live the best life we can achieve while maintaining a certain level of happiness. Making mature decisions in college in regards to one happiness is difficult for many because students tend to avoid thinking about future consequences. In Introducing Moral Theology: True Happiness and the Virtues, William
In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle understands virtue is a disposition that issues correct choice. In this essay, we are given the task to explain what Aristotle means by choice, which is in turn show that choice is not wishes, opinion, nor desire. Rather, Aristotle believes choice involves desire. So, I will explain concisely why correct choice is not a tendency to opine the correct thing to do rather correct choice is an intimate coordination between our rational and desiring faculties. Thus, controlling and coordinating what we desire and why we desire something. Ultimately, leading the agent to what the right thing they should do, full stop, regardless of numerous alternatives.
achieve the maximum point of virtue, self – knowledge has a central role, as it is a prerequisite
According to Aristotle, intellectual virtues belong in the ‘rational’ fragment of the soul and moral virtues lie in the ‘irrational’ measure of the soul However, they are both dependant on reason. Although Aristotle recognised many virtues, he was an advocate for the notion of the existence of only four cardinal virtues. His proposal proved to be popular in the society that he lived in, being acknowledged by Plato and other bodies. The four cardinal virtues are: courage, a virtue which ensures control in the interest of goodness, temperance, a virtue which diminishes wants and desires by limiting them to reason, justice, the only virtue that consists of expressing care for other beings. A human that possesses the virtue of justice has the ability to practise this virtue on other human beings and not solely on themselves. The final and one of the most important virtues is prudence, a logical virtue of practical reason by which we separate the good and the methods of achieving it. Aristotle accentuates that virtues are pragmatic skills and hence experience guides us towards becoming more dexterous in avoiding deficiency. Although familiarity with the vices as extremes supports us in our aspiration for the mean, the wider connotations of the doctrine is that only through experience will we as humans come to know the right pretences and
In book seven of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle sets out his theory of akrasia, or weakness of will. Aristotle attempts to explain both how such actions are possible (contra Socrates), and how we can dissolve the puzzles (aporiai) generated by our most important (kurios) commonly held beliefs, which arise in response to the actions of the incontinent person. This paper will review book VII of the Nichomachean Ethics (EN), and attempt to resolve some of the remaining questions left open by Aristotle’s critique.
The claim that “nothing terrible will happen to you as long as you really are a good and moral person, training yourself in the exercise of virtue” [527d] is one that raises questions of both truth and meaning. In order to answer these questions, one must first understand the claim itself. The audience must come to understand the context in which Socrates makes the claim. First, then, one must attempt to look at the world through the eyes of Socrates. In doing so, one finds that Socrates feels that, if justly distributed, punishment is beneficial overall.
Aristotle believes that there are two kinds of virtue, one being intellectual and the other being moral virtue. He states that Intellectual virtue comes from being taught meaning we’re not born with it. Moral virtue on the other hand we develop as we grow and gain an understanding of life. “The stone which by nature moves downwards cannot be habituated to move upwards, not even if one tries to train it by throwing it up ten thousand times” (N.E. II.1) Right there he is talking about how if you are designed to do one thing, it is impossible to do the opposite no matter how hard you force it. He talks about how we gain our virtues by practicing them and using them on a regular basis. That is how we learn
Aristotle was an ancient Greek philosopher and his big idea was that of virtue ethics, which is “Does this make me a better person?” For example, in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a couple undergoes a procedure to have each other erased from their memories after their relationship turns sour. They both initially felt that they would be better off if they remove all their memories they shared together because it bears too much pain on them. However, later in the movie they both realize that they were so focused on the negatives on their relationship, that they forgot all the good times they have with each other. Unfortunately, they can not stop the procedure, but they promised to find each other outside so they can start their relationship all over again after they rekindled
Here, Aristotle makes clear that it is in each friend’s best interest to help assist or, if possible, rectify the evil or wickedness in the individual who has deviated morally. After all, a facet of well-intentioned friendship includes ensuring a caliber of loyalty and love, not only in pleasant situations. However, the ultimate negotiation and decision must be derived from what is most suitable for the individual expending their efforts to maintain a friendship with one who has delved into the realm of wrongness. A man is justified in disengaging from a relationship if the one with whom he has previously engaged, in a specific capacity of good and consistent character has changed. If there is nothing to be done in order to reform the one who
Aristotle (384 BC -322 BC) was a Greek philosopher, logician, and scientist. Along with his teacher Plato (author of The Republic), Aristotle is generally regarded as one of the most influential ancient thinkers in a number of philosophical fields, including political theory. Aristotle’s’ writing reflects his time, background, and beliefs.