Aristotle virtue theory essay

Note on the Text: So, although Aristotle holds that ethics cannot be reduced to a system of rules, however complex, he insists that some rules are inviolable. No one tries to live well for the sake of some further goal; rather, being eudaimon is the highest end, and all subordinate goals—health, wealth, and other such resources—are sought because they promote well-being, not because they are what well-being consists in.

All of these are unimpeded activities of a natural state. His point, rather, may be that in ethics, as in any other study, we cannot make progress towards understanding why things are as they are unless we begin with certain assumptions about what is the case.

At the same time, he is acutely aware of the fact that reasoning can always be traced back to a starting point that is not itself justified by further reasoning. At the same time, he is acutely aware of the fact that reasoning can always be traced back to a starting point that is not itself justified by further reasoning.

One must make a selection among pleasures by determining which are better. But another part of us—feeling or emotion—has a more limited field of reasoning—and sometimes it does not even make use of it.

There is no reason to attribute this extreme form of egoism to Aristotle. Such people Aristotle calls evil kakos, phaulos. If we use reason well, we live well as human beings; or, to be more precise, using reason well over the course of a full life is what happiness consists in.

On the other hand, Aristotle does not mean to imply that every pleasure should be chosen. In this respect, Aristotle says, the virtues are no different from technical skills: The person who is weak goes through a process of deliberation and makes a choice; but rather than act in accordance with his reasoned choice, he acts under the influence of a passion.

But what is this right reason, and by what standard horos is it to be determined. Trying to come to a single set of virtues is immensely difficult in contemporary societies as, according to Louden, they contain "more ethnic, religious, and class groups than did the moral community which Aristotle theorized about" with each of these groups having "not only its own interests but its own set of virtues as well".

This enables us to see how Aristotle's treatment of the intellectual virtues does give greater content and precision to the doctrine of the mean. Is this passion something that must be felt by every human being at appropriate times and to the right degree.

Aristotle's Ethics

But what of the remaining three: These are qualities one learns to love when one is a child, and having been properly habituated, one no longer looks for or needs a reason to exercise them.

And yet to have a friend is to want to benefit someone for that other person's sake; it is not a merely self-interested strategy. If we use reason well, we live well as human beings; or, to be more precise, using reason well over the course of a full life is what happiness consists in.

Pleasure Aristotle frequently emphasizes the importance of pleasure to human life and therefore to his study of how we should live see for example a7—20 and b3—a16but his full-scale examination of the nature and value of pleasure is found in two places: To be sure, there may be occasions when a good person approaches an ethical problem by beginning with the premise that happiness consists in virtuous activity.

It ranges over topics discussed more fully in the other two works and its point of view is similar to theirs. But Aristotle never calls attention to this etymology in his ethical writings, and it seems to have little influence on his thinking. To call something a pleasure is not only to report a state of mind but also to endorse it to others.

Book VII does not say, but in Book X, Aristotle holds that the selection of pleasures is not to be made with reference to pleasure itself, but with reference to the activities they accompany. The action of drunk driving is important, but not because it is inherently wrong.

Having looked at the other two normative ethical theories we come at last to virtue ethics. John McDowell is a recent defender of this conception. He cites and endorses an argument given by Plato in the Philebus: Perhaps the most telling indication of this ordering is that in several instances the Nicomachean Ethics develops a theme about which its Eudemian cousin is silent.

He will elaborate on these points in X. But do I lose control of myself. Most people would hold the drunk driver entirely responsible for the other driver's injuries and any suffering the other driver experiences in regards to the accident.

The grandest expression of ethical virtue requires great political power, because it is the political leader who is in a position to do the greatest amount of good for the community. Plato believes virtue is effectively an end to be sought, for which a friend might be a useful means.

Alasdair MacIntyre has made an effort to reconstruct a virtue-based theory in dialogue with the problems of modern and postmodern thought; his works include After Virtue and Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry. He rejects the existence of Plato's forms in general and the form of the good in particular; and he rejects the idea that in order to become fully virtuous one must study mathematics and the sciences, and see all branches of knowledge as a unified whole.

All of the normal difficulties of ethical life remain, and they can be solved only by means of a detailed understanding of the particulars of each situation.

We approach ethical theory with a disorganized bundle of likes and dislikes based on habit and experience; such disorder is an inevitable feature of childhood. I am very partial to ice cream, and a bombe is served divided into segments corresponding one to one with the persons at High Table:.

Virtue Ethics Essay Sample

Aristotle focuses greatly on virtue ethics in his writing, and is a strong believer in a moral person being one of virtue. He is seen as the person whodeveloped the theory. Unlike some of the other ethical theories, virtue ethics focuses on what makes a life moral.

Aristotle Virtue Theory Essay It is only through habitually practicing to try to make the right decisions that we can aspire to become virtuous. It is not our response to. Virtue theory emphasises Aristotle's belief in the polis as the acme of political organisation, and the role of the virtues in enabling human beings to flourish in that environment.

Aristotle’s Theory of Virtue and Happiness Essay Aristotle’s Theory of Virtue and Happiness Aristotle was one of the most respected philosophers of all time. He wrote on many subjects covering a wide range of topics; politics, psychology, metaphysics, logic and ethics.

Confucius and Aristotle on Virtue This essay compares two philosophers of two very different and distinct backgrounds. Confucius’s ideas were developed as a result of his involvement and manifestation in the ancient Chinese culture while Aristotle’s ideas were a result of his absorption and existence in.

Aristotle’s Theory of Virtue and Happiness Essay Aristotle’s Theory of Virtue and Happiness Aristotle was one of the most respected philosophers of all time. He wrote on many subjects covering a wide range of topics; politics, psychology, metaphysics, logic and ethics.

Aristotle’s Virtue Theory Aristotle virtue theory essay
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Virtue Ethics | Essay Example