It involves the deliberate development of virtues through habituation and ethical practice. Both philosophers recognized that virtue is not an innate quality but something that must be consciously nurtured and refined through intentional efforts. Their recognition of virtues as the foundation for leading a good and fulfilling life reflects a shared understanding of the importance of character cultivation. While Aristotle focused on the pursuit of eudaimonia through the cultivation of virtues and the doctrine of the mean, Aquinas integrated virtue ethics into a Christian framework, highlighting the moral and spiritual dimensions of virtuous
For Aristotle he argues, nature has built into us the desire to be virtuous. But what does it mean? Aristotle says, “Do the right thing, at the right time, in the right way, in the right amount towards the right people.” He argues if one is virtuous you know what to do.
Aristotle describes virtue theory as an ethical theory that emphasizes an individual 's character rather than following a set of rules. Breaking it down even further to specify knowing right from wrong, being able to read an atmosphere by knowing what is right, and it is the midpoint between two extremes. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. display to be a virtue ethicists through his letter oppose to being a deontologist or utilitarian. Laws define a set of rules that the people should follow; however, there are unjust laws that are meant to be challenged.
In Book I of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle brings up the idea that in order to discover the human good we must first develop a certain understanding and identify the function of a human being. Aristotle’s function argument is brought up through his belief that the human function is rational activity, meaning that our good as human beings is rational activity performed fine because this is what leads to living well. The good Aristotle tries to get across can be seen in many different forms depending on how it is viewed, because of the idea that the main function of anything is to reach a final end, the final end is considered the good. “The end of medicine is health, that of shipbuilding, a ship, that of military science, victory…” (Nicomachean,
Another issue with virtue ethics is the difficulty in applying this theory to specific moral dilemmas. Aristotle’s theory tells us be virtuous and act as a virtuous person would. That can be very open ended in practical moral dilemmas. What about a case of abortion, or the use of drugs? Being a well-rounded, virtuous person is not enough instruction for modern day ethic issues.
Expanding on Plato’s theory of the good through the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle wished to share what he believed to be the way in which mankind is meant to live and achieve Eudaimonia. In other words the ethics represent his theory of the good and the virtues, which we must follow in order to live a truly happy, prosperous and successful life. Aristotle also spends a great deal of time (roughly 3 books) discussing the importance and value of friendship, a subject not commonly associated with ethics. However, Aristotle includes a discussion on friendship in his ethics as he views true friendship as the ultimate culmination of his stated virtues and believes that they are the backbone/glue holding society together for the greatest common/shared
In Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, Book ll, he explains that virtue is a habit of right action, formed by acting rightly (Nicomachean Ethics, p. 71). What he means by this is that everyone has the chance to act virtuously, but we must for work at doing what is right. Aristotle thought we should be virtuous because if we live virtuously than we will have a better life over
The relativist’s objection Aristotle’s writings are the best prototype of virtue ethics. Contemporary virtue theories do not grasp nor represents the Aristotelian theory, because they think that it is impossible to escape the charge of relativism in virtue ethics. According to the relativist approach, ethical goodness is relative to each society depending on its traditions and practices. It is thought that virtue can only be outlined locally with reference to a single locale. Relativists reject the idea that there is a general rule, based on specific virtuous actions, that leads to the good life i.e. they reject that there is a single virtue (or norm of flourishing life) that is able to flourish the life of all human beings.
“Every skill and every inquiry, and similarly every action and rational choice, is thought to aim at some good; and so the good has been aptly described as that which everything aims. But it is clear that there is some difference between ends: some ends are activities, while others are products which are additional to the activities. In cases where there are ends additional to the actions, the products are by their nature better than activities.” (Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics, as translated by Crisp, 2000, p. #3) Aristotle was the first philosopher who wrote a book on ethics titled, Nichomachean Ethics.
Aristotle claimed that virtues are ‘hexis’ – often translated into ‘habit’. Many dispute this translation and prefer to use the term ‘disposition’. Whatever the translation we use, he seems to be referring to us having the ‘appropriate feelings’ in the face of particular situations. Aristotle claims that ethical virtues involve a median between two extremes. On one side of the spectrum we find deficiencies, and on the other excess.
This principle lies at the heart of the great-souled man, the first of Aristotle’s peaks of humanly excellence. The great-souled man is chiefly concerned with—and strikes the mean with—external goods. The greatest of these goods is “the one that we assign to the gods, and at which people of high standing aim most of all, and which is the prize given for the most beautiful deeds; and of this kind is honor” (67:1123b19-21). A man who has achieved greatness of soul is deserving of great honors, but more importantly, he understands his own desert and acts appropriately.
Aristotle advanced the philosophy of ethics, where he demonstrated that it is a means of achieving an end to happiness. However, happiness means many things to different people. To Aristotle, the most adequate way to pursue happiness is through the virtue of excellence. In his writings, Aristotle connected his therory of virtue to economics, and leadership as well. It is a matter of connecting ones personal ethics to that of ones business ethics.
The last theory is Aristotle’s virtue ethics which states that we should move from the concern towards good action and to focus on the concern with good character. This paper argues that Aristotle’s virtue ethics is better than the other ethical theories. The divine command theory says that what is morally right and what is morally wrong is determined by God and God alone. People who follow the divine command theory believe that God is the creator of all things, therefore, he must also be the creator of morally right and wrong acts.
Virtue ethics is an expansive theory inspired by the famous Greek philosopher Aristotle. In contrast to deontology and consequentialism, virtue ethics emphasizes the moral character (ideal traits) of a person. Aristotle believed that nature produced humans with the desire to be virtuous, just how seeds are built with the drive to become trees. This concept can be related to the term eudaimonia, which translates to the flourishing of a human being; a happy and well-lived life.
One of the biggest strength of the virtue ethics arguments is the fact that it allows for morals to be both objective and subjective. Aristotle spent a lot of time thinking about virtue ethics and observing the traits that he valued in others. Through this he saw common traits that he admired in everyone from which he derived four traits he determined to be absolutes: courage, loyalty, generosity, and honesty (Rachels 176). Yet he still recognized that many other