Virtue ethics is a philosophy developed by aristotle and other ancient greeks it is the quest to understand and live a life of moral character this character-based approach to morality assumes that we acquire virtue through practice. The virtues aristotle lists in the nichomachean ethics are derived from this, as are the virtues that plato focuses on in many of his dialogues (but most famously, the republic) foremost for both were wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice, though aristotle meant much further in delimiting them. Aristotle defines the supreme good as an activity of the rational soul in accordance with virtue virtue for the greeks is equivalent to excellence a man has virtue as a flautist, for instance, if he plays the flute well, since playing the flute is the distinctive activity of a flautist. Howard j curzer, aristotle and the virtues, oxford university press, 2012, 451pp, $9900 (hbk), isbn 9780199693726 reviewed by marta jimenez, emory university this is an extensive study of the individual virtues of character in the nicomachean ethics ( ne ), with occasional references to the eudemian ethics, magna moralia and rhetoric.
Virtue theory emphasises aristotle's belief in the polis as the acme of political organisation, and the role of the virtues in enabling human beings to flourish in that environment. Virtue ethics character-based ethics a right act is the action a virtuous person would do in the same circumstances virtue ethics is person rather than action based: it looks at the virtue or. Aristotle's perspective on ethics was based on the virtue of being human in other words, virtue ethics there are two important distinctions between aristotle's approach to ethics and the other. The nicomachean ethics is one of the greatest works of aristotle, the famous philosopher who was really much more of a scientist than a philosopher this is the book where he indulges in the discussion of happiness, virtue, ethics, politics, and really anything else describing the way in which human beings functioned together in the society of.
Aristotle further argued that each of the moral virtues was a golden mean, or desirable middle ground, between two undesirable extremes (eg the virtue of courage is a mean between the two vices of cowardice and foolhardiness. Yet in aristotle's view, virtue must be a care for every city, because the city exists not only for the sake of living but rather primarily for the sake of living well (politics 1280bl) in addition, virtuous citizens are necessary for the city's stability and security. Aristotle's view is that (a) certain goods (eg, life and health) are necessary preconditions for happiness and that (b) others (wealth, friends, fame, honor) are embellishments that promote or fill out a good life for a virtuous person, but that (c) it is the possession and exercise of virtue which is the core constitutive element of happiness.
Aristotle’s theory of moral virtue contends that our ultimate purpose or goal in life should be to reach eudaimonia, but to do so requires our ability to function properly in our thoughts and actions according to our sense of reason and our innate understanding of moral virtues. Aristotle is the father of virtue ethics, and virtue ethics is hot yet aristotle’s accounts of the individual virtues remain opaque, for most contemporary commentators of aristotle’s nicomachean ethics have focused upon other matters. Virtue, according to aristotle, is a disposition to act in a particular manner, but it is not a subconscious or a natural disposition rather, it is a carefully, consciously, and rationally inculcated habit that is done for its own sake.
Virtue then, for aristotle, is this state of the human soul, that is, the state of the human soul such that the person in this state chooses the correct actions, at the correct times, for the correct reasons. Excellence is an art won by training and habituation we do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. The virtue ethics of aristotle suggest that lying is wrong because honesty is a virtue it is important to build character and bring out the best in human nature lying brings out a negative side of human nature, and it is morally preferable to be virtuous. Is aristotle right to say virtue is a mean essay argument socrates has merely shown that there are two parts that conflict, one pulls toward the desire (appetitive) and another resists, not that the resistance is from reason.
Aristotle emphasized that virtue is practical, and that the purpose of ethics is to become good, not merely to know aristotle also claims that the right course of action depends upon the details of a particular situation, rather than being generated merely by applying a law. Aristotle taught that virtue is not something that simply happens while people may have particular strengths or weaknesses of character, all sane humans can learned and cultivate virtue it is a habit that is practiced and strengthened with use.
In the the virtue of aristotle's ethics, paula gottlieb claims for virtues of character, such as courage, temperance, and justice, a place she thinks they have been unduly denied she argues that the virtues of character have been poorly understood and that the parts of his [ethical] theory. Aristotle thought that the way to identify a virtue was that it was a middle ground between too vices in opposite directions for instance, temperance was identified by aristotle as a virtue and the very definition of this term implies taking things in moderation. For man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but, when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all since armed injustice is the more dangerous, and he is equipped at birth with the arms of intelligence and with moral qualities which he may use for the worst ends.