Virtue of aristotelian ethics essay

Virtue ethics began with Socratesand was subsequently developed further by [8] [9] [10] PlatoAristotleand the Stoics.

Virtue of aristotelian ethics essay

Ancient Greece Ancient Greece was the birthplace of Western philosophical ethics. The ideas of Socrates c. The sudden flowering of philosophy during that period was rooted in the ethical thought of earlier centuries.

In the poetic literature of the 7th and 6th centuries bce, there were, as in other culturesmoral precepts but no real attempts to formulate a coherent overall ethical position.

The Greeks were later to refer to the most prominent of these poets and early philosophers as the seven sagesand they are frequently quoted with respect by Plato and Aristotle. Knowledge of the thought of this period is limited, for often only fragments of original writings, along with later accounts of dubious accuracy, remain.

He appears to have written nothing at all, but he was the founder of a school of thought that touched on all aspects of life and that may have been a kind of philosophical and religious order. In ancient times the school was best known for its advocacy of vegetarianismwhich, like that of the Jains, was associated with the belief that after the death of the body, the human soul may take up residence in the body of an animal see reincarnation.

Pythagoreans continued to espouse this view for many centuries, and classical passages in the works of writers such as Ovid 43 bce—17 ce and Porphyry — opposing bloodshed and animal slaughter can be traced to Pythagoras. This term was used in the 5th century to refer to a class of professional teachers of rhetoric and argument.

The Sophists promised their pupils success in political debate and increased influence in the affairs of the city. They were accused of being mercenaries who taught their students to win arguments by fair means or foul.

Aristotle said that Protagoras c. They regarded themselves as imparters of the cultural and intellectual qualities necessary for success, and their involvement with argument about practical affairs naturally led them to develop views about ethics.

The recurrent theme in the views of the better-known Sophists, such as Protagoras, Antiphon c.

Aristotle: Politics. In his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle ( B.C.E.) describes the happy life intended for man by nature as one lived in accordance with virtue, and, in his Politics, he describes the role that politics and the political community must play in bringing about the virtuous life in the citizenry. The Politics also provides analysis of the kinds of political community that. Essay Understanding Virtue Ethics And Aristotle 's Theory. Understanding virtue ethics theories begins with understanding the concept of the ideal character traits a virtuous and ethical person has according to Aristotle’s Ethical Theory. - Aristotle's ethics consist of a form of virtue ethics, in which the ethical action is that which properly complies with virtue(s) by finding the mean within each particular one. Aristotle outlines two types of virtues: moral/character virtues and intellectual virtues.

He argued that, while the particular content of the moral rules may vary, there must be rules of some kind if life is to be tolerable. Thus, Protagoras stated that the foundations of an ethical system needed nothing from the gods or from any special metaphysical realm beyond the ordinary world of the senses.

He explained that the concept of justice means nothing more than obedience to the laws of society, and, since these laws are made by the strongest political group in its own interest, justice represents nothing but the interest of the stronger.

Presumably he would then encourage his pupils to follow their own interests as best they could. It is not surprising that, with ideas of this sort in circulation, other thinkers should react by probing more deeply into ethics to see whether the potentially destructive conclusions of some of the Sophists could be resisted.

This reaction produced works that have served ever since as the cornerstone of the entire edifice of Western ethics. Yet, unlike other figures of comparable importance, such as the Buddha or Confucius, he did not tell his audience how they should live.

What Socrates taught was a method of inquiry. When the Sophists or their pupils boasted that they knew what justice, piety, temperance, or law was, Socrates would ask them to give an account, which he would then show was entirely inadequate.

For those who thought that adherence to the conventional moral code was more important than the cultivation of an inquiring mind, the charge was appropriate.

By conventional standards, Socrates was indeed corrupting the youth of Athens, though he himself considered the destruction of beliefs that could not stand up to criticism as a necessary preliminary to the search for true knowledge.

In this respect he differed from the Sophists, with their ethical relativism, for he thought that virtue is something that can be known and that the virtuous person is the one who knows what virtue is.

SocratesSocrates, herm from a Greek original, second half of the 4th century bce; in the Capitoline Museums, Rome. He believed that virtue could be known, though he himself did not profess to know it. He also thought that anyone who knows what virtue is will necessarily act virtuously.

Those who act badly, therefore, do so only because they are ignorant of, or mistaken about, the real nature of virtue.

Virtue Ethics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

This belief may seem peculiar today, in large part because it is now common to distinguish between what a person ought to do and what is in his own interest. Once this assumption is made, it is easy to imagine circumstances in which a person knows what he ought to do but proceeds to do something else—what is in his own interests—instead.

Indeed, how to provide self-interested or merely rational people with motivating reasons for doing what is right has been a major problem for Western ethics. In ancient Greece, however, the distinction between virtue and self-interest was not made—at least not in the clear-cut manner that it is today.

The Greeks believed that virtue is good both for the individual and for the community. He also took over the Socratic method of conducting philosophy, developing the case for his own positions by exposing errors and confusions in the arguments of his opponents.

He did this by writing his works as dialogues in which Socrates is portrayed as engaging in argument with others, usually Sophists. PlatoPlato, marble portrait bust, from an original of the 4th century bce; in the Capitoline Museums, Rome.

Aristotle: Politics | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Suppose a person obtained the legendary ring of Gygeswhich has the magical property of rendering the wearer invisible.

Would that person still have any reason to behave justly? Behind this challenge lies the suggestion, made by the Sophists and still heard today, that the only reason for acting justly is that one cannot get away with acting unjustly.

Plato maintained that true knowledge consists not in knowing particular things but in knowing something general that is common to all the particular cases.

Virtue of aristotelian ethics essay

This view is obviously derived from the way in which Socrates pressed his opponents to go beyond merely describing particular acts that are for example good, temperate, or just and to give instead a general account of goodness, temperance, or justice. The implication is that one does not know what goodness is unless one can give such a general account.Aristotle distinguishes two kinds of virtue (a1–10): those that pertain to the part of the soul that engages in reasoning (virtues of mind or intellect), and those that pertain to the part of the soul that cannot itself reason but is nonetheless capable of following reason (ethical virtues, virtues of character).

Essay Understanding Virtue Ethics And Aristotle 's Theory. Understanding virtue ethics theories begins with understanding the concept of the ideal character traits a virtuous and ethical person has according to Aristotle’s Ethical Theory. Aristotle focuses greatly on virtue ethics in his writing, and is a strong believer in a moral person being one of virtue.

He is seen as the person whodeveloped the theory. Unlike some of the other ethical theories, virtue ethics focuses on what makes a life moral, .

1. Preliminaries. Aristotle wrote two ethical treatises: the Nicomachean Ethics and the Eudemian does not himself use either of these titles, although in the Politics (a36) he refers back to one of them—probably the Eudemian Ethics—as “ta êthika”—his writings about words “Eudemian” and “Nicomachean” were added later, perhaps because the former was.

Aristotle emphasized that virtue is practical, and that the purpose of ethics is to become good, not merely to know. Aristotle also claims that the right course of action depends upon the details of a particular situation, rather than being generated merely by .

The Human Good and the Function Argument

Essay on Virtue Ethics - Virtue Ethics Virtue ethics is a theory used to make moral decisions. It does not rely on religion, society or culture; it only depends on the individuals themselves.

The main philosopher of Virtue Ethics is Aristotle. His theory was originally introduced in ancient Greek times.

Aristotle's Ethics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)