In the Republic of Plato, the philosopher Socrates lays out his notion of the good, and draws the conclusion that virtue must be attained before one can be good. For Socrates there are two kinds of virtue; collective and individual. Collective virtue is virtue as whole, or the virtues of the city. Individual virtue pertains to the individual himself, and concerns the acts that the individual does, and concerns the individual’s soul. For Socrates, the relationship between individual and collective virtue is that they are the same, as the virtues of the collective parallel those of the Individual. This conclusion can be reached as both the city and the soul deal with the four main virtues of wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice.
Many philosophers through history have dealt with happiness, pleasure, justice, and virtues. In this essay there will given facts on virtues between two philosophers who have different views on the topic. Aristotle and Kant have two totally different views on virtue, one being based on the soul and how you character depicts you virtue and the other which is based of the fact that anyone has a chance of being morally good, even bad people. There is a lot of disagreement between Aristotle and Kant, which has examples to back the disagreements. Aristotle takes virtue as an excellence, while Kant takes it more to being a person doing something morally good in the society and for them as a person. One similarity between these two philosophers though, is that these two descriptions of virtue lead back to happiness in the individual. At the end of this essay, the reader should be capable of understanding that Aristotle’s theory is more supported than Kant’s theory. Of course, explanations for both sides will be given thoroughly throughout this comparison.
The dialogue opens up with Meno asking what virtue is and whether it could be taught. Socrates asks Meno for a general definition of virtue, since as Socrates points out, we cannot figure out if virtue can be taught if we do not have a clear idea what it is. Socrates is looking for a general, or formal definition of virtue, not just examples or instances of it. Socrates wants to know what all the examples of virtue have in common. He wants to know the essence of virtue. Meno initially offers a list of virtues, but Socrates rejects this as a sufficient account. Meno also states that there are different virtues for everyone. The virtue of a man is to order a state and the virtue of a woman is to order a household. I believe that virtue can
For centuries in literature, philosophers studied the idea of virtue to demonstrate the uphold of moral excellence and righteousness within characters. Eventually becoming a staple in Western literature, virtue can be described as the balance and imbalance of qualities specified by the philosopher Plato. He thought much of virtue, and eventually defined it according to the four criteria: courage, prudence, temperance, and justice. Plato portrayed courage as the showing of bravery in the midst of danger, prudence is one’s ability to show good judgment and to put other’s needs before their own; temperance is a person’s knowledge of when to show restraint and justice is when one gives to others what is owed to them. These characteristics not
When talking about happiness and goodness, there must be an important quality present. According to Aristotle, people need to practice balance and moderation in their every day lives. Achieving this middle ground, or mean, translates into being virtuous in Aristotle’s mind. If virtue is present, so is its opposite vise. For every virtue, there are two vices. One vice is excessive while the other is deficiency. Courage works as a great example because it is virtuous. The excessive vise is recklessness and the
Virtue is a particular moral excellence, a beneficial quality, or power of a thing, and masculine strength or courage. At the end of the Meno, Socrates states that the hypothesis, "if knowledge is virtue, it can be taught." 1 The
In his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle explores virtues as necessary conditions for being happy. A virtuous person is a person with a disposition toward virtuous actions and who derives pleasure from behaving virtuously. Aristotle distinguishes between two types of human virtue: virtues of thought and virtues of character. Virtues of thought are acquired through learning and include virtues like wisdom and prudence; virtues of character include bravery and charity, which are acquired by habituation and require external goods to develop. As a consequence, not all people can acquire virtues of character because not all people have the external goods and resources required to develop that disposition.
There are certain truths of the world that cannot be ignored or overlooked. Many philosophers have spent countless years discussing, debating and evaluating such truths. One such influential philosopher is Socrates. Born in Athens in 469 B.C.E, he spent most of his time at the marketplace and other public places engaging in dialogues about truths of life. Among many other things, he discussed virtue and happiness and how closely they are related. According to Socrates, virtue is absolutely necessary for perfect happiness because virtue brings a type of happiness that other things could never bring. In this paper, I will explain the aforementioned idea of Socrates on virtue and happiness and through evidence from Plato's Apology which is
Aristotle believes that happiness is the ultimate goal in life. You can’t reach happiness unless you work hard and become successful. That is where virtue comes into play. A human’s function is to engage in “an activity of the soul which is in accordance with virtue” and which “is in conformity with reason” (page 76, Palmer). The two kinds of virtue are intellectual and moral. Our virtues are what make us all individual and all different. Intellectual virtues are what we are born with and what we learn. It is our nature as humans and what we have inherited that makes desire to learn. As humans, we develop wisdom to help guide us to a good life. With the intellectual virtue you develop two different kinds of wisdom: practical and
Plato was a philosopher who was born in Athens (470-390 BCE), and was also a student of Socrates. He felt that intelligence and one’s perception belonged to completely independent realms or realities. He believed that general concepts of knowledge were predestined, or placed in the soul before birth even occurred in living things. Plato believed that the cosmos was intelligible, and the the universe was mathematically understandable. He believes that mathematical objects could be seen as perfect forms. Forms, a doctoral of Plato, can be understood as an everyday object or idea, which does not, exists in the everyday realm, but merely is existent in the hypothetical realm or reality.
Virtue ethics was written by a Greek philosopher names Aristotle. Aristotle believed that every human’s goal was happiness. Some philosophers argued that happiness only came from following a set of rules, while Aristotle argued that the best way to have happiness is to cultivate a virtuous character. The two kinds of virtues he recognized were moral virtue and intellectual virtue. The virtue that should be focused on to develop a virtuous character is moral virtue. According to Aristotle, while we are born with a capacity to be virtuous, being virtuous is like a skill that we need to learn and practice to be good at. The key element to being virtuous is being able to find the mean or right amount of our various emotions, dispositions, and actions. Aristotle wrote: “Anybody can become angry- that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for
Unlike happiness, virtue is not an activity, but a disposition and a state of being. More precisely, it is a disposition to behave in the right manner. In Aristotle’s description, virtues are the “means” and intermediate states between what he considers vicious states (excess and deficiency). In other words, they are the moderation of desiring too much and desiring too little. For example, the state of being courageous is considered a virtuous disposition because it moderates the states of being cowardly (deficit) and rash (excess). Furthermore, Aristotle describes the virtuous person as one whose passions and deliberation are aligned; someone whose possession of goodness allows their acts to be guided by the balance of their “means” and their rationality. This means that to achieve a virtuous state one has to consistently aim for the “mean” of their actions to the point where it’s instinctive. (Nic. Ethics II 6).
Plato's Republic is often read as a political work, as a statement of some sort on government, society, and law. This is certainly not a rash reading of the dialogue; it is called the Republic, and over half of it is devoted to the construction of a city through speech, a city complete with a government structure, a military, an economic system, and laws. However, I believe that to read the Republic as a political statement is inaccurate. Although Socrates and his companions construct a city out of speech as they attempt to define justice, the dialogue repeatedly frames justice as something that cannot be established through a fixed system of morality, let alone through a rigid