Aristotle Virtue Theory

Topics: Aristotle, Ethics, Virtue Pages: 2 (1410 words) Published: October 26, 2014

Aristotle’s Virtue theory is based on Teleology and the Golden Mean. He says that to be virtuous that we need to act with excellence. He believed that everything on this earth has its own virtue, meaning that if it performs the way it’s supposed to by its nature then it is virtuous. He asserted that every event had four causes or four factors that work on it and to bring it into being; 1) Material Cause- the “stuff the thing is made of. 2) Efficient Cause- the force that has brought it into being. 3) Formal cause- the shape or idea (the Form) of the thing. 4) Final cause- the purpose of the thing. Virtue is not just for humans; it means that everything that exists has a purpose. The Golden Mean-is an action or feeling that corresponds to a particular situation at the right time, in the right way, in the right amount, and for the right reason. Not too much, not too little, everything in moderation. It is what is “Good for man” where a human can excel, what a human is meant to do and where a human will find happiness. He determined that if we are able to choose the proper response to every situation in life then we are morally good. It is all about the reasonably thought out decisions we make and the action we take after we have made them. The virtuous person finds and choses the one that is intermediate. These are human concerns that are constant and remain the same concerns throughout the ages. Since we are human beings and capable of rational decision making we can be prone to go toward one extreme or the other, we must beware of our own short comings. It is only through habitually practicing to try to make the right decisions that we can aspire to become virtuous. It is not our response to a single situation but how we respond as a general rule. We need to be consistent in our actions. Aristotle realized that this is something that doesn’t come overnight but that it takes time to mold ourselves. How we find out what the mean is in every...
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