Preliminaries Aristotle wrote two ethical treatises: In any case, these two works cover more or less the same ground: Both treatises examine the conditions in which praise or blame are appropriate, and the nature of pleasure and friendship; near the end of each work, we find a brief discussion of the proper relationship between human beings and the divine.
Though written more than 2, years ago, it offers the modern reader many valuable insights into human needs and conduct.
People have not changed significantly in the many years since Aristotle first lectured on ethics at the Lyceum in Athens. The human types and problems he discusses are familiar to everyone. The rules of conduct and explanations of virtue and goodness that he proposes can all help modern man to attain a fuller and more satisying understanding of his responsibilities as a member of society and the purpose of his existence.
One attains happiness by a virtuous life and the development of reason and the faculty of theoretical wisdom. For this one requires sufficient external goods to ensure health, leisure, and the opportunity for virtuous action.
Moral virtue is a relative mean between extremes of excess and deficiency, and in general the moral life is one of moderation in all things except virtue. No human appetite or desire is bad if it is controlled by reason according to a moral principle. Moral virtue is acquired by a combination of knowledge, habituation, and self-discipline.
Virtuous acts require conscious choice and moral purpose or motivation. Man has personal moral responsibility for his actions. Moral virtue cannot be achieved abstractly — it requires moral action in a social environment. Ethics and politics are closely related, for politics is the science of creating a society in which men can live the good life and develop their full potential.
Nature of Ethics and methods of studying Ethics.
Discussion of Happiness and the good as the ends of human life. Discussion of Moral Virtue.
The Doctrine of the Mean. Moral purpose and moral responsibility. Discussion of particular moral virtues. Further discussion of Pleasure. Happiness, the end of human life. Relationship of Ethics and Politics.
Next Chapter I Pop Quiz! According to Aristotle, three conditions must be fulfilled for friendship to exist between two people. One of those conditions is expectation of shared material abundance mutual goodwill.Aristotle calls happiness an “activity,” which distinguishes his conception of happiness both from our modern conception of happiness and from virtue, which Aristotle calls a “disposition.” We tend to think of happiness as an emotional state and hence as something we are, rather than as something we do.
While all forms of virtue ethics agree that virtue is central and practical wisdom required, they differ in how they combine these and other concepts to illuminate what we should do in particular contexts and how we should live our lives as a whole.
Contemporary conceptions of right and wrong action, built as they are around a notion of. In the theory of moral virtue, Aristotle states that we must act knowingly and do the right thing because it is right, not because there is a personal stake in terms of the future possibility of pleasure or pain.
Aristotle defines the supreme good as an activity of the rational soul in accordance with virtue.
Virtue for the Greeks is equivalent to excellence. A man has virtue as a flautist, for instance, if he plays the flute well, since playing the flute is the distinctive activity of a . For Aristotle the mean was a method of achieving virtue, but for Buddha the Middle Path referred to a peaceful way of life which negotiated the extremes of harsh asceticism and sensual pleasure seeking.
Aristotle: Ethics. Standard interpretations of Aristotle’s Could there be anything at all to the notion that we hone in on a virtue from two sides?
There is a wonderful image of this sort of thing in the novel.