Aristotle 's Doctrine Of The Mean Real Quick

1571 Words Dec 11th, 2014 7 Pages
Jonathan Abrams
Alptekin Sanli
Philosophical Perspectives
8 December 2014

Zero to One-Hundred: Find the Mean Real Quick It is a simple exercise to find the mean between two numbers, it is the midpoint between any two values on the number line. However, when you drift away from the number system, calculating the mean of a set can be quite a different process. If you consider fear and confidence, it is less intuitive that the mean of these two qualities is bravery. And such, it even follows that there is no single variable that defines bravery. In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle discusses one of his most famous principles in great detail, the ‘Doctrine of the Mean’. It declares that a moral (ethical) action is a mean between two extremes, and that a virtuous person is capable of choosing the mean consistently.
Although the first example of means given above is arithmetic in nature, Aristotle’s doctrine applies to a much wider set. Ethical virtue, Aristotle asserts, is "a habit, disposed toward action by deliberate choice, being at the mean relative to us, and defined by reason as a prudent man would define it" (NE, Book 2, Chapter 7, Line 1107a). Being virtuous and acting virtuously differ markedly. One must not only act virtuously, but also know he is acting virtuously, aim to do what he does for its own sake, and act with certainty and decisiveness, to qualify as virtuous (NE, Book 2, Chapter 4, Line 1105b). Acting virtuously, however, is the first step and primary…
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