Aristotle’s views on Virtue
Aristotle believes that there are two kinds of virtue, one being intellectual and the other being moral virtue. He states that Intellectual virtue comes from being taught meaning we’re not born with it. Moral virtue on the other hand we develop as we grow and gain an understanding of life. “The stone which by nature moves downwards cannot be habituated to move upwards, not even if one tries to train it by throwing it up ten thousand times” (N.E. II.1) Right there he is talking about how if you are designed to do one thing, it is impossible to do the opposite no matter how hard you force it. He talks about how we gain our virtues by practicing them and using them on a regular basis. That is how we learn everything in life. Just doing nice things doesn’t make you a virtuous person; first you must have the knowledge, then act, and then finally do it with an unchanging character (N.E. II. 4). In doing that you must also have only good will in mind, for any other reasons doesn’t make it morally right. He speaks of virtue as being a sort of mean in life, where as excess and defect are a form of failure. “Virtue is a kind of mean, since, as we have seen, it aims at what is intermediate.” (N.E. II. 6) Right there as he compares everything to virtue which he says that it is a form of success. After this however he speaks about how we are all exposed to evil things and maybe inclined to do them but that isn’t virtuous. “Prodigality and meanness are excesses and defects with regard to wealth” (N.E. IV.1) in book four section one he speaks of generosity and how it doesn’t regard to just money or material goods. How you spend your time and act to others shows true virtue in terms to generosity. He follows by talking about the Liberal man and how he is the most loved of all virtuous characters because he is dependant on giving. Giving can be done by anybody at any time, however the liberal man, “will give for the sake of the noble,...
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