Aristotle 's Theory Of Virtue

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Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics is a reflection as to what virtue is. Aristotle’s definition of virtue can be described as the as the “state of character concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and by that reason by which the man of practical wisdom would determine it” (Nicomachean Ethics, 31). In addition to that, Aristotle illustrates two types of virtue that stem from his primary idea; moral and intellectual virtue. Aristotle expounds moral virtue as actualizing from habit, in which the virtue cannot arise naturally, for the fact that nothing can form a habitual habit that contrasts from its nature. For instance, the example of the fire; it is impossible to teach the fire to burn downwards,…show more content…
For instance we can look at the example of exercise; in which an excess or deficiency in exercise can ruin one’s health. The application of the Doctrine of the Mean, applies to all instances of virtues, in which we must find the mean relative to us, in order to be virtuous. Granted, Aristotle explains the conditions that must be met in order to be virtuous; “They must have knowledge of what they’re saying; they must perform the action for its own sake and the action must be preceded from a firm and unchangeable character” (Lecture 8, Moral Problems). In other words, actions are noble, when they are carried out noble.
Furthermore, Plato’s Symposium was also a reflection as to what virtues are. Plato’s explanation of virtue is emphasised through the symposium and the Phaedrus. In the case of the symposium, the discussion of love is developed by 5 protagonists in the symposium; Phaedrus, Pausanias, Erxyimachus, Aristophanes and Agathon. They discuss the nature of love, adding their own interpretation to the previous person’s opinion. Their speeches ultimately lead to the understanding that love bestows the greatest, in other words, “Love is one of the most ancient gods, as such, he gives to us the greatest goods” (Symposium, 465). The Symposium begins with Phaedrus, who presents the idea the that “love bestows the greatest gifts” (Lecture 4, Moral Problems) ; Pausanias, explains that there are only two types of love, common and
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