In Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, the concept of happiness is introduced as the ultimate good one can achieve in life as well as the ultimate goal of human existence. As Aristotle goes on to further define happiness, one can see that his concept is much different from the 21st-century view. Aristotelian happiness can be achieved through choosing to live the contemplative life, which would naturally encompass moralistic virtue. This differs significantly from the modern view of happiness, which is heavily reliant on material goods. To a person in the 21st-century, happiness is simply an emotional byproduct one experiences as a result of acquiring material goods.
We are trying to reach happiness. According to Aristotle’s writing called, Nicomachean Ethics, all actions performed by humans aim to gain happiness, happiness is the ultimate end, and that happiness is greatly determined by moral and intellectual virtues. However, I will discuss how some believe that his doctrine of the mean lacks the direction of how one achieves equilibrium of the virtues. In addition, I will explain how Aristotle’s ethics, in fact, does give sufficient advice of how a person can live virtuously. Firstly, Aristotle
Within Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, he considers humanity and its relationship with moral virtue. By the end of this essay, I will have summarized how Aristotle sees virtue as something that can be improved through repetition and what sort of ideology is required for an action to be considered virtuous. Also, I will address how one may disagree with Aristotle’s views on how a person learns to become virtuous, thinking that the concept of virtue must be precisely defined rather than as free-formed as Aristotle understands it. Following that counterargument, I shall refute it by explaining how a satisfactory childhood impresses society’s code of conduct upon a youth and how a youth learns how to apply that code of conduct through trial and error. According to Aristotle, each individual has the ability to develop moral virtue, yet, this moral virtue is initially negligible in a person’s life since they do not possess the proper faculties to understand society’s expectations.
Unlike the alternative ethical theories mentioned above, virtue ethics is not associated with a moral imperative. It is the idea that acting virtuously will result in virtuous consequences. Most virtue ethics theories are embedded in Aristotle's teachings which declare that "a virtue is a trait of character manifested in habitual action". These traits are derived from a natural internal inclination which needs to be guided, yet, over time, may become stable. Aristotle also defined virtues as a ‘golden mean’ which ultimately is the middle ground between two extremes also known as vices.
Contemporary virtue theory holds that criteria of ethical goodness are internal and different across societies, and therefore reject the concept of a single norm applied to all human beings. Supporters of this theory argue that there is no compatibility between basing the theory on virtues and defending the singleness of human good. If virtues differ through cultures, how can Aristotle argue that there is common human goodness? This argument deems the Aristotelian approach useless when proposing ideas of ethical progress, a conclusion quite
The first topic in philosophical ethics I would like to discuss is Aristotle’s virtue ethics. As an objectionist, Aristotle tried to determine what a good person is. To Aristotle, happiness is what made you a good person, and that is what the chief goal in life is. He believed that happiness was achieved when a species determines its’ own telos, or purpose. Along with that, Aristotle determined three facts of humanity.
Aristotle also guarantee that to be a virtuous person we have to been teach and also of what we see. There are two types of virtues, the intellectual virtue the one that we learn in school when we read and learn ethics; we learn wisdom, prudence, rationality; and the moral virtue, we learn this virtue by guidance, of parents, teachers, or mentors; we learn fairness, kindness, loyalty, courage, and conscientiousness. As well there are 5 types of morality in this theory; Moral complexity [virtue ethics is a form of ethical pluralism; there are at least 2 fundamental moral rules], Moral understanding [in order to be a good person you have to have experience and training], Moral education [knowing the difference between right and wrong isn’t native], Moral wisdom [obtain through practice, experience, or training], and Moral luck [depends on actions out of our control]. (Bernal, PP) Antonio Ricci was a virtuous person? Or he was involved in a tragic dilemma?
Virtue ethics are ethical theories which focus on moral character rather than right action. The main focus of Aristotle’s ethics is on the person’s character, you must try to become a person with good character regardless of thinking about any end, outcome, happiness, consequence, action, reward or punishment. If you will be able to have a good and virtuous character right actions will take place automatically. The actions of a person with good character are right actions and the actions of a person with a bad character are wrong actions. Virtue ethics do not require you to focus on doing your duty or on actions that would bring about good consequences.
Upon evaluating Aristotle’s ideals of citizenship, one finds a world wherein citizenship and freedom are one in the same – active participation in debate and deliberation in the political community through the exclusively human use of reason and speech capacities. Given this ideal of citizenship, it becomes the case that the ideas for human flourishing and thus the good life follow suit. For Aristotle, human flourishing comes from the cultivation of virtue that is a result of continued participation in the political community, or, continued intentional citizenship. For the good life, it is important to note that it is the continued practice of virtuous activity, rather than the obtaining, that is required. For, “…possession of virtue seems actually compatible with being asleep, or with lifelong inactivity, and, further, with the greatest sufferings and misfortunes; but a man who was living so no one would call happy…” (Ethics 938).
This ‘good’ is represented first and foremost by the moral virtue, which in its turn is presented through individual’s desire, action and goal and not by the uniqueness of the Face of Other. In Aristotle humanity becomes virtuous rationally by volition and willingness to act. As Aristotle puts it in, “These virtues are formed in man by his doing the actions ... The good of man is a