For Aristotle it was through reason that enables an individual to determine the middle course between to vices according to his circumstances. It is not a mere habit but habit of choice. Differentiating between the aims or goals of each, he distinguished three kinds of friendships that we commonly form. the balance] is successful and commendable. Main Points of Aristotle's Ethical Philosophy The highest good and the end toward which all human activity is directed is happiness, which can be defined as continuous contemplation of eternal and universal truth. The minor premise consists in the recognition that a particular action is one that conforms to the general rule; and the conclusion is the carrying of the actual action. In this regarded Aristotle unlike Plato kept the common man in mind. With regard to pleasures and pain the mean is temperance. In doing so Aristotle included in the Socratic view, virtue is knowledge, the idea that there is another and more practical kind of knowledge than the theoretic contemplation of the philosopher. According to Aristotle, things of any variety have a characteristic function that they are properly used to perform. Looking for a flexible role? Aristotle begins the work by positing that there exists some ultimate good toward which, in the final analysis, all human actions ultimately aim. Aristotle states that any human investigation art or science aim at some thing, and that aim is good. the general masses and the men of wit and wisdom, would agree that good of man is happiness, but they would mostly differ in the meaning of happiness because its interpretation is different from men to men. According to Aristotle, “With regard to feeling of fear and confidence the mean is courage. the excess of intemperance and the deficiency of insensibility; with respect to spending money, Ethics I 7) Thus, human beings should aim at a life in full conformity with their rational natures; for this, the satisfaction of desires and the acquisition of material goods are less important than the achievement of virtue. Therefore, Chief good of all action is the happiness of man. Aristotle argued that the vice of intemperance is incurable because it destroys the principle of the related virtue, while incontinence is curable because respect for virtue remains. Introduction He tried to determine the limits within which each virtue must lie according to the circumstances of an individual. Aristotle's perspective on ethics was based on the virtue of being human; in other words, virtue ethics. Summary of the Aristotle philosophy of Virtue Ethics:- Aristotle defined Virtue as a habit of choice, the characteristic of which lies in the observation of the mean or of moderation (relative to the circumstances of the individual concerned), as it is determined by reason … Copyright © 2003 - 2020 - UKEssays is a trading name of All Answers Ltd, a company registered in England and Wales. Aristotle believed if you had good moral values, then your actions would be "good" in theory. Virtue Ethics is focused on the person's actions, not the consequences of that action. A relationship of this sort lasts only so long as its utility. In doing so Aristotle analyses the concept of chief good in an action. All evil action like stealing or lying has no mean because there very nature is bad. Ethics is not merely a theoretical study for Aristotle. Striking other people while claiming to be ignorant of the moral rule under which it is wrong to do so would not provide any excuse on his view. Ethics II 6) Thus, for example: with respect to acting in the face of danger, Turning the discussion towards the intellectual virtues he says that, the rational part of human soul, the intellectual virtue has two main functions. This is not an example of the work produced by our Essay Writing Service. Fourthly, the practical wisdom of a statesmen and a solider are indeed virtues acts but there very nature may lead to despair and misery, whereas philosophical wisdom is not restrained by such ill feeling and experiences. Reason as much as for Plato as for Aristotle, was the characteristic of a virtuous man. For example, courage is a virtue, but in excess it becomes rashness, a vice rather than a virtue. Thus, its subject matter is best handled by men of experience, not by young men who have but a little experience of life. Here he discussed the conditions under which moral responsibility may be ascribed to individual agents, the nature of the virtues and vices involved in moral evaluation, and the methods of achieving happiness in human life. Somehow, the overwhelming prospect of some great pleasure seems to obscure one’s perception of what is truly good. The ability of the common man is not the theoretical ability of the philosopher but the practical ability of the man of experience. Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) For example, practicing medicine one has to study, this is the intermediate stage of the final aim of medicine, which is healthy life. Rather these are acquired through a habit by first practicing and then learning them. In the thesis, we discuss the origin of the virtues and there relevance with respect to modern examples of real public figures. Incontinent agents suffer from a sort of weakness of the will {Gk. Clarifying what is the chief good in an action, Aristotle exemplifies by saying that all the fields of; medicine, crafts, warfare, are actions all with different ends or final aim as stated earlier. One of his theories of ethics that he written in the form of 10 books was Nicomachean Ethics, this theory consisted of Aristotle’s perspective on the life of man and what makes a good life for man.