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.”
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
This is developed during the discussion of virtue in book II of The Nicomachean Ethics. The Doctrine of the Mean originates from two teleological arguments that inaugurate the structure of Aristotle’s moral philosophy: the function reason for virtue and the relapse argument that stands for eudemonia. Aristotle’s The Nicomachean Ethics embarks on the stance that all arguments must in due course be directed towards a single end. This single end is called eudemonia. With comparison to all inferior ends such as pleasure, nobility, and intelligence, eudemonia is pursued for only itself and is autonomous and whole. Although eudemonia is something that can eventually be attained, it should not solely be viewed as an ‘end-goal’. It is a vigorous standing which accompanies good deeds. It is something to be developed over a period of time and preserved. The status should eventually be attributed to life in its entirety. This can be reiterated by one of Aristotle’s eminent sayings: “one swallow does not make a
Love is a dominant theme in Greek Literature. We see it in our everyday lives, in music and television, as something that can be interpreted in all kinds of ways; love is multi-sided. There exist various different ways to understand love. Plato’s Symposium uses the speeches of six characters to demonstrate the domains of love. The Symposium’s liveliness and entertainment, as well as its characterization, plays a large role in depicting the social life of powerful Athenians in ancient times and their perspective on love.
In the book,” Plato’s Symposium,” by Plato, who was a philosopher in Greece, he illustrates the dialectic discussion at a party at Agathon’s to celebrate his triumph of his first tragedy. In the Symposium; the guests Phaedrus, an Athenian aristocrat; Pausanias, the legal expert; Eryximachus, a physician; Aristophanes, eminent comic playwright; Agathon ,a tragic poet and host of the banquet; Socrates, eminent philosopher and Plato 's teacher; and Alcibiades, a prominent Athenian statesman, orator and general; discuss their own versions and viewpoints to praise the god of love. First, we have Phaedrus, who starts to say that love is the most ancient of the gods and should be praiseworthy, next we have Eryximachus who states that love affects everything in the universe and that it should be protected, next we have Aristophanes, who states that the reason why love is on earth is because god has split humanity in half and that man should fear the gods and should embrace love to feel whole again, and last we have Socrates who suggests what Diotima explains that love is in the middle of two things or objects and has both characteristics.
In Plato’s work Symposium, Phaedrus, Pausania, Eryximachus, Aristophane and Agathon, each of them presents a speech to either praise or definite Love. Phaedrus first points out that Love is the primordial god; Pausanias brings the theme of “virtue” into the discussion and categorizes Love into “good” one or “bad” one; Eryximachus introduces the thought of “moderation’ and thinks that Love governs such fields as medicine and music; Aristophanes draws attention to the origin and purposes
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
Plato’s Symposium attempts to define the eclectic theory of love, a theory that is often believed to be the universal principle that guides mankind’s actions. Plato introduces several narratives in the form of a dialogue that seek to characterize this multifaceted theory of Eros. The meaning of love naturally varies in each narrative. Yet, in this dialogue of love, Plato presents a metaphysical approach to understanding the ambiguous meaning of love. Ultimately, Plato values the perennial quest for knowledge above all else. In Symposium, Platonic love is exhibited in the relationship between virtue and desire, as expressed in Diotima’s ladder. Desire is the vehicle, or the means to an end. The six Athenians ultimately present different
Aristotle found that there are two kinds of virtues of the soul. First, there are virtues of thought, such as wisdom. Next, there are virtues of character, such as generosity. The main focus of his virtue ethics lies in the virtues of character. Aristotle assumed that these virtues are learned through habit. For example, whereas intellectual virtue may arise from reading a book, the adoption of virtuous character is inherited solely by practice. Therefore, it is through a person's upbringing that moral virtues are cultivated, and it is through the habit of thinking virtuously that one can excel towards happiness.
One objection a relativist could make to Aristotle’s virtue ethics is regarding what it counts as good or bad virtues since we have only have an idea about what they are. For instance, even if we know what fear is, there is not such a thing as the right or wrong thing to do. Courage looks different for everyone; other cultures have a different definition or set of rules on what counts as courageous. In ancient Greece, Sparta was a society known for their bravery and tactics of war, they lived a life with no fears of dying. Newborns were physically examined, if they were not in good conditions to survive, then they will drown in the river. This was culturally acceptable because it was how their civilization was form, but in our culture this
In our society today, we are mostly challenged by two questions: ‘is it right to do this or that? And ‘how should I be living in society?’(Bessant, 2009). Similar questions were greatly discussed in the history by our ancestors in their philosophical discussions. The most ancient and long-lasting literature on moral principles and ethics were described by Greek philosopher Aristotle. He had an excellent command on various subjects ranging from sciences to mathematics and philosophy. He was also a student of a famous philosopher. His most important study on ethics, personal morality and virtues is ‘The Nicomachean Ethics’, which has been greatly influencing works of literature in ethics and heavily read for centuries, is believed to be
In the Symposium, written by Plato, Socrates and others engage in a dialogue in the home of Agathon on love. Instead of "singing the honours" (94) of love like the other participants, Socrates uses a retelling of a discussion that he had with a woman named Diotima to tell the audience of what he perceives to be the truth of love.
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.
Socrates’ sense of virtue, as established in Plato’s Apology of Socrates, Crito, and Symposium collectively, revolves around the pursuit of wisdom, knowledge, and justice, all in an effort to benefit the soul rather than the physical body. Given that this oftentimes contradicts standard values of honor and beauty, Socrates is targeted by many of those around him who oppose his ideas and ways of thinking, especially since the youth begin to criticize the elders’ concern for the trappings of honor and beauty rather than for interior virtues. Unlike Socrates’ case, Aeneas’ sense of virtue complies with the standard societal definition, emphasizing pietas, or respect for the gods and dedication to family and community. In his efforts to
In Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics he accounts that humans should make sacrifices and should ultimately aim first and foremost for their own happiness . In the paper I will argue that it is really in a person’s best interest to be virtuous . I will do this by first describing Aristotle’s notion on both eudaimonia and virtue , as well as highlighting the intimate relationship between the two . Secondly I will talk about the human role in society. Thirdly I will describe the intrinsic tie between human actions . Finally I will share the importance of performing activities virtuously .