Essay about Confucius and Aristotle on Virtue

953 Words4 Pages
Confucius and Aristotle on Virtue
Lisa Wilson
Dr. Malone
Date 12/5/2015

Confucius and Aristotle are some of the greatest thinkers in the history of mankind. While Confucius was born in China and spearheaded a new way of perceiving morality, Aristotle was born in Macedon/Greece and also immersed his philosophical work to addressing moral thinking.Both philosophers have addressed similar subjects with major points of divergence and convergence. On virtue, these two authors have almost similar opinions. However, it is their points of convergence or agreement that have had a huge impact on the modern world’s thinking and understanding of virtue and moral behavior. By the Standard
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Based on these virtues, the two philosophers differed in what they believed to the most important virtue. Aristotle believed that friendship or friendliness was the most important virtue. It allowed people to be kind to one another and even facilitated people to have other virtues such truthfulness and generosity. On the contrary, Confuciusbelieved that propriety, which is obedience to the set laws and regulations, was the greatest virtue. It allowed people to exist peacefully. He indicated that it is by the rules of propriety that the character is established…….Respectfulness, without the rules of propriety, becomes laborious bustle; carefulness, without the rules of propriety, becomes timidity; boldness, without the rules of propriety, becomes insubordination; straightforwardness, without the rules of propriety, becomes rudeness” (Confucius cited in Slote 1998, p. 139).
It is this take on obedience to the authorities that have been attributed to the Chinese culture that restricts government criticism in modern times. On the source of virtuousness, both Confucius and Aristotle agree that individuals should undertake self-cultivation of virtue. Aristotlebelieved that virtue was the key to a flourishing life (eudaimonia) and thus for a man to have a flourishing life in society, he must work on his attitudes, habits and behaviors to be acceptable in that society
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