Ethical Virtue Is A State Of The Soul

1242 Words5 Pages
The definition of ethical virtue is one of the difficult themes that are often discussed by many philosophers. In Nicomachean EthicsⅡ.6, Aristotle defines ethical virtue as ‘(a) a state that decides,(b) in a mean, (c) the mean relative to us, (d) which is defined by reference to reason, (e) i.e. to the reason by reference to which the intelligent person would define it.’ (NEⅡ.6) But, this definition itself is complex. Then, in this paper, I will explain what he means by this and evaluate this definition. First, Aristotle claims virtue should be a state that makes a human good and makes him function well. In Nicomachean EthicsⅡ.5, he concluded that ethical virtue is a state of the soul. On the basis of this conclusion, he starts to discuss what kind of state is ethical virtue. Then, as a premise, he defines every virtue should make its possessors be in a good state and perform their functions well. The virtue of a horse, for example, makes the horse excellent because it is good at galloping, at running, and at carrying its rider. In the case of human being, therefore, the virtue is the state that makes a human being good and perform his or her function well. Next, he claims mean states should be ethical virtue. A mean is a middle or intermediate between excess and deficiency. He claims those extreme states are vices because they make human being perform worse. Bravery, for example, is a virtue that makes people deal with a difficult situation with confidence. If, however,
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