Virtue Ethics: Aristotle's Theory Of The Golden Mean

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Aristotle’s moral philosophy called virtue ethics and based on his theory of the golden mean. He wrote about this in his book called Nicomachean Ethics, in which he explains the origin, nature and development of virtues, which are necessary to obtains life’s ultimate goal of happiness. He tries to show that ethical virtues are no different from skilled laborers; these workers know how to avoid excess and deficiencies to make the right product. This is how he describes virtue as the mean between the extremes of excess and deficiency. The mean is what will directly provide each individual with happiness. One example would be giving to others; the excess would be over extravagant, a 10-carat diamond ring to a farm worker would serve no purpose…show more content…
The mean would be truthful about oneself no matter if it is good or bad just honest. This leads to being aware of ones flaws, the excess in this would be shy not willing to admit any flaws. The deficiency would be shamelessness, not embarrassed by anything and telling things way beyond what anyone else would have the need to know. The mean would be modesty, admitting one had faults but not overstating them. I like using this as a method to judge actions and interpreting them as good or bad. I also see where the one writer disagreed with this based on Aristotle’s excluding murders, adulterers as always extreme so they did not count in his theory. Since it was a difference in degrees, there is no way to argue in favor of the mean. I however, can see in society that we have adopted the mean theory in a way. How we judge a cold blood, pre-planned murder and an out of passion in the moment murder is by degrees. That is what determines the charge, First Degree Murder, Second Degree Murder or…show more content…
Leonard Peikoff, believes that because it is based on self-love it is to egotistical. When someone is doing something for a friend, he is being selfish because he is doing it when the greatest benefit is for himself and not the friend. Peikoff states, “if you offer men a magnificent internal combustion machine, but they have no idea how to use it and there is not fuel to make it run,” they will choose a horse and buggy, which actually works in their minds. Most people have or have had the three types of friendships he names. The friendship of pleasure is the person you hang out with in a social setting just for the pleasure of it although you may have very little in common with them otherwise. There are ball players over the years I have had this type of relationship. The strategic friendship that due to business or political reasons you both gain something you want from each other and is a complete superficial relationship. This seen in politics and at my age with classmates in college. The last friendship, which he calls true, is the person you value as a person and agree with their moral values. You both admire each other and help each other to live a good life. It benefits both parties so you actually gain pleasure from it but that does not corrupt the friendship.
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