Aristotle 's Theory Of Moral Virtue

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In books one and two of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle lays a foundation for and explains reasoning behind his theory of moral virtue. Aristotle does this to give understanding of what it means to be morally virtuous, and how to achieve it. I believe Aristotle’s theory, in the face of objections regarding the relativity of virtue, is sufficient to achieve an understanding to what it means to be morally virtuous and how to act in a morally virtuous manner. Aristotle uses book one of the Nicomachean Ethics to layout the foundational frame work from which he arrive at his theory of moral virtue. He begins by focusing on human activity, noting that all action is directed at something other than itself. He focuses on how each activity a…show more content…
Rather, the value of an action is dependent on the goal; an action is morally good if it brings us closer to the goal of being humans. To be good, is to complete your action well, and the action which distinguishes humans from animals is the ability to reason; therefore happiness is an activity of a rational being which follows and acts in accordance with virtue. Aristotle divides the soul into two portions: the irrational and rational soul. The irrational soul is comprised of two aspects, the vegetative and appetitive. The irrational soul focuses on nutrition and growth of the being, along with governing urges without regards to virtuousness, and the rational soul controls the urges produced by the irrational soul. It is the rational faculty which provides the ability to assess and determine which urges to follow that were produces in the irrational soul. Aristotle uses this framework from book one in book two to further discuss moral virtue in book two of the Nicomachean Ethics. Just as there are two types of ends and soul, there are two kinds of virtue: intellectual and moral. Intellectual virtue is that which is taught over an extended period of time. In contrast, moral virtue is that which is learned and obtained through habit. The key difference between the types of virtue is the requirement of using extended rational to conclude and obtain
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