Aristotle - Ethics

Topics: Ethics, Virtue, Nicomachean Ethics Pages: 2 (444 words) Published: June 20, 2013


1. The Ethics of Virtue - Virtue ethics date back to Aristotle (325B.C.) in his Nichomachean Ethics. Aristotle’s central question: “What is the good of man?”

2. Supreme Good Happiness – supreme good chosen for itself and never for something else. More than a mere truism What is the nature of happiness? How do we achieve happiness?

3. Virtue and Function - Aristotle holds that happiness (or that which makes someone happy) is tied to the proper functioning of a thing. “ good hammer” = that which functions well at hammering What is the unique function of man?

4. The Function of Man - Aristotle holds that the unique function of man is his power of thought. Full development of reason will make man happy Life of Reason: “activity of the soul in conformity with virtue” – clear judgment that is self-centered Rational Principle = Golden Mean

5. The Golden Mean Virtue is the mean between two extremes relative to the individuals. Excess-------Mean-------Deficiency Rashness----- Bravery -----Cowardice The good person is one who habitually follows the mean.

6. Contemporary Virtue Ethics Virtue (defined): a trait of character, manifested in habitual action, which is good for a person to have. Examples of Virtues: (Partial list – no absolute or complete list) Benevolence, Fairness, Self-Discipline Self-Reliance , Honesty, Tolerance Conscientiousness, Loyalty, Justice

7. Importance of the Virtues? Virtuous person will fare better in life. Virtues are needed to live well We need virtues to live in community with others Necessary to pursue our own ends and cope with life’s challenges

8. The Nature of the Virtues - Are the virtues the same for everyone? Yes All people need virtue just to different degrees Certain virtues will be necessary for some cultures Radical Virtues Ethics: get rid of the notion of morally right and morally wrong. Use virtuous and non-virtuous.

9. Advantages of Virtue Ethics Moral Motivation –...
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