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  • Aristotle: Ethics and the Virtues - Philosophy Pages
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Aristotle follows Socrates and Plato in taking the virtues to ..

12/11/2011 · Aristotle: Ethics and the Virtues

wealth, and honor nor the philosophical theory of forms provide an ..

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Although Aristotle's principal goal in X.7–8 is to show thesuperiority of philosophy to politics, he does not deny that apolitical life is happy. Perfect happiness, he says, consists incontemplation; but he indicates that the life devoted to practicalthought and ethical virtue is happy in a secondary way. He thinks ofthis second-best life as that of a political leader, because heassumes that the person who most fully exercises such qualities asjustice and greatness of soul is the man who has the large resourcesneeded to promote the common good of the city. The political life hasa major defect, despite the fact that it consists in fully exercisingthe ethical virtues, because it is a life devoid of philosophicalunderstanding and activity. Were someone to combine both careers,practicing politics at certain times and engaged in philosophicaldiscussion at other times (as Plato's philosopher-kings do), he wouldlead a life better than that of Aristotle's politician, but worse thanthat of Aristotle's philosopher.

virtues develop within an individual and ..

Discussing the moral virtues ..
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But his complaint about the political life is not simply that it isdevoid of philosophical activity. The points he makes against itreveal drawbacks inherent in ethical and political activity. Perhapsthe most telling of these defects is that the life of the politicalleader is in a certain sense unleisurely (1177b4–15). What Aristotlehas in mind when he makes this complaint is that ethical activitiesare remedial: they are needed when something has gone wrong, orthreatens to do so. Courage, for example, is exercised in war, andwar remedies an evil; it is not something we should wishfor. Aristotle implies that all other political activities have thesame feature, although perhaps to a smaller degree. Corrective justicewould provide him with further evidence for his thesis—but whatof justice in the distribution of goods? Perhaps Aristotle would replythat in existing political communities a virtuous person mustaccommodate himself to the least bad method of distribution, because,human nature being what it is, a certain amount of injustice must betolerated. As the courageous person cannot be completely satisfiedwith his courageous action, no matter how much self-mastery it shows,because he is a peace-lover and not a killer, so the just personliving in the real world must experience some degree ofdissatisfaction with his attempts to give each person his due. Thepleasures of exercising the ethical virtues are, in normalcircumstances, mixed with pain. Unalloyed pleasure is available to usonly when we remove ourselves from the all-too-human world andcontemplate the rational order of the cosmos. No human life canconsist solely in these pure pleasures; and in certain circumstancesone may owe it to one's community to forego a philosophical life anddevote oneself to the good of the city. But the paradigms of humanhappiness are those people who are lucky enough to devote much oftheir time to the study of a world more orderly than the human worldwe inhabit.


Summary of the Aristotle philosophy of Virtue Ethics:-

Summary of the Meaning of The Theory of Moral ..
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A misunderstanding of eudaimonia as an unmoralizedconcept leads some critics to suppose that the neo-Aristotelians areattempting to ground their claims in a scientific account of humannature and what counts, for a human being, as flourishing. Othersassume that, if this is not what they are doing, they cannot bevalidating their claims that, for example, justice, charity, courage,and generosity are virtues. Either they are illegitimately helpingthemselves to Aristotle’s discredited natural teleology (Williams1985) or producing mere rationalizations of their own personal orculturally inculcated values. But McDowell, Foot, MacIntyre andHursthouse have all outlined versions of a third waybetween these two extremes. Eudaimonia in virtue ethics, isindeed a moralized concept, but it is not only that. Claims about whatconstitutes flourishing for human beings no more float free ofscientific facts about what human beings are like than ethologicalclaims about what constitutes flourishing for elephants. In bothcases, the truth of the claims depends in part on what kind of animalthey are and what capacities, desires and interests the humans orelephants have.

23/03/2015 · The Moral Philosophy Of Virtue Ethics
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Whether virtue ethics can be expected to grow into “virtuepolitics”—i.e. to extend from moral philosophy into politicalphilosophy—is not so clear. Gisela Striker (2006) has argued that Aristotle’s ethics cannot be understood adequately without attending to its place in his politics. That suggests that at least those virtue ethicists who take their inspiration from Aristotle should have resources to offer for the development of virtue politics. But, while Plato and Aristotle can begreat inspirations as far as virtue ethics is concerned, neither, on theface of it, are attractive sources of insight where politics isconcerned. However, recent work suggests that Aristotelian ideas can, after all, generate asatisfyingly liberal political philosophy (Nussbaum 2006; LeBar 2013a). Moreover, as noted above,virtue ethics does not have to be neo-Aristotelian. It may be thatthe virtue ethics of Hutcheson and Hume can be naturally extendedinto a modern political philosophy (Hursthouse 1990–91; Slote 1993).

Aristotle's Moral Philosophy - Gakuranman

Read in this way, Aristotle is engaged in a project similar in somerespects to the one Plato carried out in the Republic. One ofPlato's central points is that it is a great advantage to establish ahierarchical ordering of the elements in one's soul; and he shows howthe traditional virtues can be interpreted to foster or express theproper relation between reason and less rational elements of thepsyche. Aristotle's approach is similar: his “functionargument” shows in a general way that our good lies in thedominance of reason, and the detailed studies of the particularvirtues reveal how each of them involves the right kind of ordering ofthe soul. Aristotle's goal is to arrive at conclusions likePlato's, but without relying on the Platonic metaphysics that plays acentral role in the argument of the Republic. He rejects theexistence of Plato's forms in general and the form of the good inparticular; and he rejects the idea that in order to become fullyvirtuous one must study mathematics and the sciences, and see allbranches of knowledge as a unified whole. Even though Aristotle'sethical theory sometimes relies on philosophical distinctions that aremore fully developed in his other works, he never proposes thatstudents of ethics need to engage in a specialized study of thenatural world, or mathematics, or eternal and changing objects. Hisproject is to make ethics an autonomous field, and to show why a fullunderstanding of what is good does not require expertise in any otherfield.

Aristotle’s Nicomachean ethics focus on the virtues ..

Addressing the moral skeptic, after all, is the project Platoundertook in the Republic: in Book I he rehearses an argumentto show that justice is not really a virtue, and the remainder of thiswork is an attempt to rebut this thesis. Aristotle's project seems, atleast on the surface, to be quite different. He does not appear to beaddressing someone who has genuine doubts about the value of justiceor kindred qualities. Perhaps, then, he realizes how little can beaccomplished, in the study of ethics, to provide it with a rationalfoundation. Perhaps he thinks that no reason can be given for beingjust, generous, and courageous. These are qualities one learns to lovewhen one is a child, and having been properly habituated, one nolonger looks for or needs a reason to exercise them. One can show, asa general point, that happiness consists in exercising some skills orother, but that the moral skills of a virtuous person are what oneneeds is not a proposition that can be established on the basis ofargument.