Aristotle vs. Plato
Excellence is a function which renders excellent the thing of which it is a function is Plato's definition of virtue. What does this definition really mean though? Plato and Aristotle both had their own unique arguments devoted to the topic at hand, and their own ways of describing what virtue really is. Defining virtue may seem to be an easy taste, but to truly understand the arguments behind the definition can prove to be very challenging.
Before discussing virtue, the sole must first be considered. There are three types of soul, according to Aristotle. The three types form a hierarchy. As the hierarchy increases, each form includes the one below. The first level is called vegetable, which is characterized by certain functions, and involves nourishment and growth. The second is animal and involves perception and locomotion along with the vegetable characteristics. The last and final level is the rational soul. This highest form is similar to the animal soul but also involves theoretical (passive) and practical (active) rationality. Humans possess this type of soul, and are able to be rational, and to instill rationality into their lives when dealing with their appetites, which are the objects and actions humans are attracted to. Aristotle believed that the ultimate goal in life is happiness, and people should live their lives in order to be happy. According to him, the soul doesn't survive after death, so people should strive to be happy while they are alive. Since we haven't direct knowledge of soul we try to understand to become truly virtuous.
In Aristotle's quest to understand virtue, he works rationally trying to rationalize the irrational. He used a system of rewards known as "habituation." This system helps to make one virtuous by giving a person self-control allowing them to train their irrational side to become rational. This process in turn creates character. People work indirectly to rid bad habits, such as...
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