Aristotle's Philosophy On Purpose Essay

869 words - 3 pages

Aristotle, the last of the great Greek philosophers. He roamed Ancient Greece from 384 BC until his death in 323 BC. In this time, he wrote an enormous amount of works, a variety of books from metaphysics to politics and to poetry. His variety is exceptionally impressive. His greatest known works are the Athenian Constitution and Nicomachean Ethics. Aristotle’s works of Ethics explore a vast area of topics. He states, “The goal of the Ethics is to determine how best to achieve happiness.” In order to achieve happiness, one must live a virtuous life, in the mind of Aristotle.
Interest is sparked in this area that Aristotle writes of because there is a natural need for Ethics in human life. John K. Roth states, “Aristotle assumes that all things, human beings included, have a good, a purpose or end, which it is their nature to fulfill”. This helps one understand Aristotle’s way of thinking, and provides insight to the basis of his theories. A common theory explored by Aristotle is the Ethics of Virtues, and how to practice them. A theory included in Aristotle’s Virtue Ethics is the unity of all the virtues, and in order to be virtuous, one must exhibit all the virtues. One of these virtues being practical wisdom, or Phronesis.
The role of practical wisdom is to be able to pre-determine which action will ensure Eudaimonia or happiness in different situations. In the words of Aristotle he explains, “Virtue makes the goal right, practical wisdom the things leading to it”. It is important to exhibit the virtue of practical wisdom because one must have the skill to make conscientious decisions, to benefit one. To practice practical wisdom, one must obtain two kinds of virtues, intellectual and moral. In conclusion, practical wisdom is a key contributor to achieve a life of Eudaimonia.
Intellectual virtue is one of the key components to live a life full of practical wisdom, leading to Eudaimonia. The intellectual virtue provides one with the skill to calculate outcomes and make rational decisions. This character trait contributes to the unity of virtues because; if one lacks this component, the ‘practical’ part of wisdom is eliminated. As Aristotle says, “Wisdom must be intuitive reason combined with scientific knowledge.” By analyzing this quotation, it is understood that ‘intuitive reason’ is referencing moral virtue and ‘scientific knowledge’ is referencing intellectual virtue. He is saying that moral and intellectual virtue must co-exist to create wisdom. To support moral virtue Aristotle states, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” The reason one needs...

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