Aristotle Virtue Ethics
2 Pages 461 Words
Aristotle was a great philosopher during the forth century B.C. Throughout his article “Virtue Ethics”, he concentrates upon the concepts of virtue and happiness. “happiness is an activity of soul in accordance with perfect virtue(p. 394).” Both virtue and happiness are related to one another, for happiness is achieved through virtues.
Aristotle defines happiness as the “highest of all practical goods”. It is agreed by the masses that happiness is associated with living well. “For happiness we always desire for its own sake and never as a means of something else(p. 392).” The purpose of happiness is not to gain anything, but to seek for the sake of being happy. All actions focus primarily on the achievement of happiness; honor, pleasure, and intelligence may seem like they are desired as means to themselves, but all amount in an achievement of some kind of happiness.
There are two different kinds of virtues: intellectual, which is taught directly, and moral, which is gained through self-experience. Aristotle views virtues as “traits that enable us to live well in communities(p. 389)” He holds the better good of the community higher than that of the individual. Each person has a purpose to excel in their community, while at the same time adding to the greater good of their community.
“consider virtue, as this will perhaps be the best way of studying happiness(p. 396).” Virtue and happiness are directly related, for virtues are the way of achieving happiness. Aristotle defines a virtue as moral excellence, or goodness. In order to achieve this excellence the mean between two extremes must sought. One extreme can be distinguished as too much, or an excess, and the other as too little, or a deficiency. By these vices and virtues are we judged, Aristotle says. In most cases, one extreme opposes the virtue more than the other does. For example, courage seems less opposed to foolhardiness tha...
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