Aristotle 's Views On Morality And Justice Essay

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Introduction Aristotle is considered one of, if not the greatest, philosophers of all time. This paper will discuss Aristotle’s understanding of the relationship between ethics and justice, ethical philosophies interpreted by other, but distinct, philosophers, Aristotle’s virtue theory and justice philosophy, as discussed in his book, Nicomachean Ethics: Book V, and how western ethics and justice concepts effect existing American civil and criminal justice systems. Ethics and Justice According to Aristotle, ethics, in simple terms, is defined as “the good.” As previously mentioned, virtue theory will be discussed in detail in a subsequent section. However, it’s important to note the difference between virtue and justice. Virtue encompasses one’s moral state, whereas justice deals with interpersonal relationships and states of character. Aristotle believes that a just state of character influences men to do what is just, act justly, and wish for what is just. Similarly, an injustice state of character influences men to act unjustly and wish for what is unjust. A just man is lawful and fair while an unjust man is unlawful and unfair. All lawful acts are just if they produce and preserve happiness for society. Laws enable justice to be sought and supplied. Justice is a virtue in and of itself; virtuous towards oneself as well as towards others. A concept that Aristotle refers to throughout book V is “graspingly.” In context, graspingly relates to greed or
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