Virtues Essay

900 words - 4 pages

For Aristotle understanding ethics helps each one pursue a good life. What we need in order to understand ethics and live well is to appreciate the goods in life. Aristotle then explains why these qualities are essential in any fully well-live life. Virtues, the excellence of fulfillment, are the train to true happiness. One will become virtuous in character in time by acting virtuously. Virtues are not inborn, humans are only born with the capacity to become wise and ethically virtuous, and therefore, practice is required. In order to develop virtue in character and understand the mean of it, reason is the main key since reason is connected to virtue. To achieve ethical virtues one must develop proper habitats during childhood, and then wisdom must be acquired when reason is finally developed. This does not mean that one can do whatever it was told to be ethically virtuous; it still needs to be connected to personal practical wisdom. Besides habitats that lead to virtues, there are also habitats against the virtues. For example, if we don’t develop the habitat of paying attention to other people's needs, we are more likely to not become generous; if we develop the habitat of never trying something new, we will not be able to attain courage.
Aristotle’s theory of the mean argues that there is either an excess or deficiency of feelings. The mean does not fall between zero and the highest level but it is what we call moderation to be a virtue, self-control. Depending on the circumstances; it could require strong or not as strong feelings. For example, to be a virtue is what we call courage. In other words, one is thought that a person is considered to be a coward if they show a lot of fear when the situations are not very dangerous (in their society) and runs away from the slightest sign of danger. A person is to be considered a reckless if they show no fear at all at things that are considered dangerous (in their society) and also get involved in unnecessarily dangerous situations. Now, a person who is considered to be courageous (brave) has an appropriate level of fear in the situations considered dangerous, they face fear without letting fear bring them down and who does not do unnecessary dangerous things. Aristotle suggests that there is another type of good besides material goods such as money, a good that has goodness itself. The higher good is the cause of the other goods. Aristotle calls the highest good eudaimonia, a perfect state of happiness.
Particular goods in life...

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