Aristotle's Virtues Analysis

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states that are praiseworthy are the ones we call virtues” just having these virtues does not mean one is living the good life. We must also be living with these virtues
According to Aristotle, “happiness is an activity of the soul (16).” In order to achieve this true happiness, we must be living a life of virtue. This happiness is not to be confused with the good we seek in our every action, for these goods in most cases, are short lived and usually meant for our own benefits rather than the community. For example, one man steals food from a homeless shelter while the other donates to it. Both are reaching a state of happiness, but one has done so in virtue, while the other is only satisfying a bodily need. Following the
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Virtues, by contrast, we acquire just as we acquire crafts, by having first activated them” (1103a
This brings into play another important concept Aristotle mentions, habituation. Once we have established an action into a habit. It is easier to do without even thinking about it. For example, if we stop every time we see someone stranded on the side of the road, by the fifth or sixth time we are placed in an identical situation, it is extremely likely that we will stop and help yet again. It is important to realize though that the good actions we perform do not define us unless they are frequent in our daily lives. Aristotle addresses this in saying, “Habituation in disdain for frightening situations and in standing firm against them makes us become brave, and once we have become brave, we shall be most capable of standing firm (pg 20 lines 36-
39).”No one would call someone a genuinely kind person if they only pulled over to assist someone
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This does not mean that their lives are completely absent of discomfort though because in its absence, a person would not learn many of life’s valuable lessons. I’m not sure if I totally agree with this one though because I always think of the Kenyans that my friend Joshua Sawe (an African native himself) describes. They live off of very little in comparison to American standards and are still incredibly happy and freely give what they do have. Although there are always exceptions, most do not steal what they need from those around them and instead work hard for what they want. This work in itself is also fulfilling and so I find it really hard to discount a life in which so much respect is due and yet so little credit would be given by Aristotle simply because they lack the material
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