Compose a 500 words assignment on what is aristoles view in virtue. Needs to be plagiarism free!

Compose a 500 words assignment on what is aristoles view in virtue. Needs to be plagiarism free! Aristotle’s Views on Virtue, Appetite and Friendship (teacher) &nbsp. &nbsp. &nbsp. &nbsp. &nbsp. &nbsp. &nbsp. &nbsp. Aristotle’s Views on Virtue, Appetite and Friendship

In the second book of the Nichomachean Ethics, Aristotle defines virtue by explaining its several aspects. First, Aristotle shows that there are two kinds of virtue – an intellectual virtue, which is a result of teaching, and a moral virtue, which is a result of habit (Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics, II.1). This moral virtue is the main subject of his book Ethics. For the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, “we are not made good or bad by nature” (II.5). Man is good only if he does good, and bad if he does otherwise. Moreover, he defines this goodness or virtue not as an inherent passion or faculty but a state of character that is fashioned by rationality, good choices and good action.

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First of all, according to Aristotle, moral virtue is defined by action, or in short, “we learn by doing them” (II.1). This means that virtue is not inherent in man’s nature but that man possesses the potentiality to practice virtue. Virtues are not an inborn quality of man but rather something that is acquired through practice. In the Ethics, Aristotle gives an example: “By doing the acts that we do in our transactions with other men we become just or unjust” (II.1). This means that a man is known as just not because of his nature but because he has demonstrated justice to others through his own acts. No one can say someone is good unless that someone has done good deeds. For Aristotle, action must precede virtue and character. It is therefore not that man is doing good things because he is good – but rather man is good because he is doing good things.

The idea of defining virtue as an action-based principle would then imply that its demonstration is actually a matter of choice (II.3). The idea of ascribing virtue as subject to man’s choice now becomes the basis of responsibility. Furthermore, Aristotle explains this by showing that virtue concerns itself with pleasures and pains and that it seeks the advantageous, the noble and the pleasant while it seeks to avoid the base, the injurious and the painful (II.3). Therefore, for Aristotle, virtue is something that is utilitarian or pleasure-seeking and pain-avoiding, unlike vice, which is its opposite.

Although people would generally equate vice with evil, and virtue with goodness, Aristotle clarifies the meaning of virtue by defining it as a mean between two vices, one an excess and the other a lack: “Virtue is a kind of mean, since, as we have seen, it aims at what is intermediate” (II.6). For example, in terms of appetite, the vice of lacking pleasure is “insensibility” while the vice of having too much pleasure is “self-indulgence.” The middle ground is known as “temperance” and this is virtue (II.6). Another example is in matters of truth: the virtue is “truthfulness” while the vice of lack is “mock modesty” and the vice of excess is “boastfulness” (II.7). Aristotle, however, points out a few other corollaries to the doctrine of the mean: that certain vices may not have names such as an excess of fearlessness. that virtues have no excess or deficiency. and that certain names will always be bad, like adultery, shamelessness and envy (II.6). Furthermore, Aristotle emphasizes, in the words of Calypso, that “he who aims at the intermediate must first depart from what is more contrary to it” (II.8). This means that if, based on the previously stated example, one is boastful, then one must seek to display mock modesty in order to arrive at the mean of truthfulness. The same thing is true if one is too modest – he has to aim for boastfulness in order to become truthful.

In fact, Aristotle admits “it is no easy task to find the middle” (II.9). Nevertheless, from him, we have learned that “virtue is a state of character concerned with choice, lying in a mean…this being determined by a rational principle” (II.6). In short, the idea of being good or virtuous lies not in man’s nature but in his choice. We alone in our full authority choose to be good despite our nature and circumstances, and we can only do this if we seek virtue – or the intermediate between two extremes.

References

Aristotle. (350 BCE/2011). Nichomachean Ethics. Retrieved Oct. 24, 2011 from the Internet Classics Archive of Massachusetts Institute of Technology: http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.2.ii.

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