Aristotle’s virtue ethics differs from other moral theories. Unlike deontology and consequentialism, virtue ethics emphasizes and describes moral characters (virtues). In my paper, I am going to explore the objection to virtue ethics from a relativist point of view and the responses to this objection that were presented in Nussbaum’s paper “A non-relative approach to virtue ethics.” Furthermore, I am going to present two out of three relativist objections to her responses that she anticipated, and her responses to them. 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.
Many perspectives of ethical theory do not take this mix into consideration and state that morals are either completely subjective or objective. 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
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.
Aristotle believes that the “good” depends on its’ function, and if the function is performed well, then it exudes virtue. So if humans do indeed have a function, a good human will perform the function well. The human’s function then is the soul’s rational activity. Humans differ from plants and animals because we are rational beings. Therefore, human function is exclusive and only present in humans.
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
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
In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle synthesizes an enthralling dissertation that, “the human good proves to be activity of soul in accord with excellence” (1098a 16-17) which requires, “a rational principle” (1098a 7-8). Even though some critics may contend that the human good lies within something other than excellently acting in accordance with reason, the case set forth in Nicomachean Ethics dismisses such detractors as inordinately obstinate in their parochial ideology. To support his conclusion, Aristotle adroitly employs several cogent premises. This paper will explain how Aristotle reaches his conclusion and examine potential flaws in his argument First, I will state each proposition in Aristotle’s argument. After I present an individual
Aristotle is well known as one of the first philosophers to have observed himself and those around him, to come up with his own definition of what constitutes as human beings and how it can explain some of our most common behaviors. Aristotle views living things as a amalgamation of two distinct item, the body and the soul, to form an entity that all living things are an example of. The body, by itself, is nothing but an empty husk in the shape of various living things, physical yet without sentience. The soul is the essence of all living things, which results in the body becoming a living thing the moment the soul takes possession of it. These two items
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.
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.