Aristotle outlined his theory of Virtue Ethics in his book Nicomachean Ethics. Aristotle focused his idea of ethics on agents rather than acts. His main idea is focused on the idea of human character- how can you be a better person? In fact, Aristotle once said: “For we are enquiring not in order to know what virtue is, but in order to become good, since otherwise our enquiry would be of no use.” Aristotle is given the credit for developing the idea of virtue ethics, but many of Plato's cardinal values influenced his ideas. Virtue Ethics is focused on the person's actions, not the consequences of that action. Aristotle believed if you had good moral values, then your actions would be "good" in theory. Rather than defining good actions,
Virtue ethics is concerned with the traits of character that make one a good person. Virtue ethics seems to be more personal because it is not about choosing which side of an issue one would prefer to take part in, but the kind of person one wants to be. A virtuous person is considered to be a morally good person, and virtues are good traits. For virtue ethics, the moral life is about developing good character.
Virtue ethics is a theory that focuses on character development and what virtues one should obtain to be who they are supposed to be, as oppose to actions. An example of virtue ethics would be someone who is patient, kind, loving, generous, temperance, courage and flourishing as oppose to a person who lies, cheats, and
In his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle explores virtues as necessary conditions for being happy. A virtuous person is a person with a disposition toward virtuous actions and who derives pleasure from behaving virtuously. Aristotle distinguishes between two types of human virtue: virtues of thought and virtues of character. Virtues of thought are acquired through learning and include virtues like wisdom and prudence; virtues of character include bravery and charity, which are acquired by habituation and require external goods to develop. As a consequence, not all people can acquire virtues of character because not all people have the external goods and resources required to develop that disposition.
Aristotle’s idea of Virtue Ethics was influenced by his belief that all things and all humans have a purpose (a telos). For him a complete explanation of something has to include its final cause or purpose which essentially is to realise its potential. Virtue Ethics itself is concerned with the characteristics of a person rather than how a person behaves and it is this he outlined in his book Nicomachean Ethics. A ‘’virtue’’ are qualities that lead to a good life e.g. courage and honesty. Aristotle explains for a person to adopt these qualities into their own lives is to maximise their potential to achieve a happy life and he goes
Virtue ethics are theories that highlight the importance of character and morals over dutiful behaviors. Many virtue theories are rooted in Aristotle's teachings, which argue that a "virtuous person is someone who has ideal character traits" (Athanassoulis, 2004). Virtue theories are founded upon the contention that sets of universal principles, virtues, can be applied across a variety of situations. Virtues are defined as conformity to a standard of right or particular moral excellence (Merriam-Webster, 2012). Presently, virtue theories have seen resurgence, specifically Eudemonism, agent-based theories, and the ethics of care (Athanassoulis, 2004). Eudemonism "bases virtues in flourishing, where flourishing is equated with performing one's distinctive function well" (Athanassoulis, 2004). Agent-based theories argue that individuals seek to emulate virtuous qualities they see in others based on common-sense intuitions, whereas the ethics of care argues that qualities such as caring and nurturing should also be considered as virtuous traits.
Virtue ethics concerned with the character of the person, instead of their action. Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas were supporters of this theory. This theory focuses on individual 's disposition as the key factor of ethical reasoning instead of the principles
In Book II of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle discusses the idea of moral virtue. Aristotle emphasized the importance of developing moral virtue as the way to achieve what is finally more important, human flourishing (eudaimonia). Aristotle makes the argument in Book II that moral virtue arises from habit—equating ethical character to a skill that is acquired through practice, such as learning a musical instrument. However in Book III, Aristotle argues that a person 's moral virtue is voluntary, as it results from many individual actions which are under his own control. Thus, Aristotle confronts us with an inherently problematic account of moral virtue.
Virtue ethics is a normative theory whose foundations were laid by Aristotle. This theory approaches normative ethics in substantially different ways than consequentialist and deontological theories. In this essay, I will contrast and compare virtue ethics to utilitarianism, ethical egoism, and Kantianism to demonstrate these differences. There is one fundamental aspect of virtue ethics that sets it apart from the other theories I will discuss. For the sake of brevity and to avoid redundancy, I will address it separately. This is the fundamental difference between acting ethically within utilitarianism, egoism, and Kantianism. And being ethical within virtue ethics. The other theories seek to define the ethics of actions while virtue ethics does not judge actions in any way. The other theories deal with how we should act, while virtue ethics determines how we should be.
The philosophy of virtue ethics, which primarily deals with the ways in which a person should live, has puzzled philosophers from the beginning of time. There are many contrasting interpretations regarding how one should live his or her life in the best way possible. It is in my opinion that the Greeks, especially Aristotle, have exhibited the most logical explanation of how to live the "good life". The following paper will attempt to offer a detailed understanding of Aristotle's reasoning relating to his theory of virtue ethics.
Virtue ethics is a very different approach to the others and central to Aristotle's work. It does not primarily concentrate on the right action as such; the right action according to virtue ethicists is the one that the virtuous agent would do. Virtue ethics takes the central feature of morality to be the virtuous character, and the account of what the virtues are as the basis of the theory.
Although virtue ethics and care ethics share similar beliefs and rejections, virtue ethics is clearly separate from care ethics. Virtue ethics, tracing its roots back to the Middle Ages, stresses the importance of an individual being virtuous, which comes from developing a virtuous personal character. It also allows for the possibility of many right choices, since virtuous people can make choices differently. Aristotle was the only person to come up with a “clear-cut” virtue theory. He believed that people should be virtuous in order to achieve happiness, or eudaimonia. Additionally, Aristotle found that in order to become virtuous, a person must know the right thing, intend the right thing, and have their actions stem from their established character. He also came up with term “golden mean”, which seeks to achieve a balance in one’s virtues. For instance, Aristotle felt that one should find a balance of anger. When seeking a balance of anger, it is
In Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, ethical virtue is at the base of every Aristotle argument. Aristotle’s goal is to discover: what constitutes human excellence? A key position Aristotle takes in ethical virtue involves habit among human actions, “Neither by nature, then, nor contrary to nature do the virtues arise in us; rather we are adapted by nature to receive them, and who are made perfect by habit.” (Nic.2.1.1103a23-25). Through this statement, Aristotle believes that humans do not have virtues by nature, which means humans cannot be born with virtue. However, nature equips humans with the potential to acquire virtue over time through social training and habituation. Aristotle’s concept is on the same grounds as Roger Bergman’s, author of Catholic Social
We are born with faculties like we are with passions. “We are not made up of good or bad nature; we are not praised nor blamed”(page 225, Mayfield). This quote is explaining with passions and faculties are how we feel and desire which is neither right nor wrong, good or bad. Since passions and faculties are not defined, state of character is virtue. State of character is our actions and our habits. “The virtue of man also will be the state of character which makes a man good and which makes him do his own work well” (page 225, Mayfield). In order to have true virtue you need to act to “accordance with a golden mean of moderation” (page 78, Palmer). This means that you need to find an intermediate so you will be praised and succeed. You can’t take too much or too little. Too much for someone could be too little for someone else, therefore each person needs to find their own individual mean.
Unlike happiness, virtue is not an activity, but a disposition and a state of being. More precisely, it is a disposition to behave in the right manner. In Aristotle’s description, virtues are the “means” and intermediate states between what he considers vicious states (excess and deficiency). In other words, they are the moderation of desiring too much and desiring too little. For example, the state of being courageous is considered a virtuous disposition because it moderates the states of being cowardly (deficit) and rash (excess). Furthermore, Aristotle describes the virtuous person as one whose passions and deliberation are aligned; someone whose possession of goodness allows their acts to be guided by the balance of their “means” and their rationality. This means that to achieve a virtuous state one has to consistently aim for the “mean” of their actions to the point where it’s instinctive. (Nic. Ethics II 6).