Aristotle and the Book of Nicomanchean Ethics
In Book I of Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle states that the ultimate human goal or end is happiness. Aristotle then describes steps required for humans to obtain the ultimate happiness. He also states that activity is an important requirement of happiness. A virtuous person takes pleasure in doing virtuous things. He then goes on to say that living a life of virtue is something pleasurable in itself. The role of virtue to Aristotle is an important one, with out it, it seems humans cannot obtain happiness. Virtue is the connection one has to happiness and how they should obtain it. My goal in this paper is to connect Aristotle’s book of Nicomachean Ethics to my own reasoning of self-ethics. I strongly agree with Aristotle’s goal of happiness and conclude to his idea of virtues, which are virtuous states of character that affect our decision making in life.
To achieve this topic, I have sectioned my paper into three main sections, in which I have subsections supporting. In the first section, I will provide much information about Aristotle and his beliefs in virtue and obtaining happiness. Using information from his book of ethics I will provide examples and quote on quote statements to support his views. In the second section, I will provide my agreements as to why I relate and very fond of Aristotle’s book of Nicomachean Ethics. In the third section, I will provide research as to why there are such objections to Aristotle’s book of ethics, and counter act as to why I disagree with them. Lastly I will conclude much of my and as well as Aristotle’s views on ethics and why I so strongly agree with this route of ethics for humans.
Aristotle states in his book of ethics, the human function is the life activity of the soul that has reason. He explains this further by stating that some sort of activity of the past of the soul that has reason is according to virtue. This then creates what is a good man. For Aristotle, in order to be happy, humans must perform their function well in accordance with virtue. Aristotle argues that moral virtues are desire regulating character traits, which are at a mean between more extreme character traits or what he sees as vices. As Aristotle gives an example, he states,
In response to the natural emotion of fear, we should develop the virtuous character trait of courage. If we develop an excessive character trait by curbing fear too much, then we are said to be rash, which is a vice. If, on the other extreme, we develop a deficient character trait by curbing fear too little, then we are said to be cowardly, which is also a vice. The virtue of courage, then, lies at the mean between the excessive extreme of rashness, and the deficient extreme of cowardice. Most moral virtues, and not just courage, are to be understood as falling at the mean between two accompanying vices. [Nicomachean Ethics, 12]
Aristotle lists some virtues that are means...