Aristotles notions of the good happiness virtue and justice in the book nicomachean ethics

We approach ethical theory with a disorganized bundle of likes and dislikes based on habit and experience; such disorder is an inevitable feature of childhood.

We become brave by behaving bravely, we become just by acting justly. If we use reason well, we live well as human beings; or, to be more precise, using reason well over the course of a full life is what happiness consists in.

Such people Aristotle calls evil kakos, phaulos. This stable equilibrium of the soul is what we mean by having character. In Book III of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle argues that a person's character is voluntary, since it results from many individual actions which are under his voluntary control.

The trouble, as so often in these matters, is the intrusion of Latin. He confirms this identity by reviewing the kinds of things that are in the soul, and eliminating the feelings and impulses to which we are passive and the capacities we have by nature, but he first discovers what sort of thing a virtue is by observing that the goodness is never in the action but only in the doer.

Perhaps such a project could be carried out, but Aristotle himself does not attempt to do so. Plato thinks it is a state of the soul.

Aristotle's Ethics

And, in general, feelings seem to yield not to argument but to force. Drawing well and the pleasure of drawing well always occur together, and so they are easy to confuse, but Aristotle's analysis in Book X emphasizes the importance of making this distinction.

Those who wish good things to their friends for the sake of the latter are friends most of all, because they do so because of their friends themselves, and not coincidentally.

And, since Aristotle thinks that practical wisdom rules over the character excellences, exercising such excellences is one way to exercise reason and thus fulfill the human function. This feature of ethical theory is not unique; Aristotle thinks it applies to many crafts, such as medicine and navigation a7— Natural justice on the other hand is justice no matter what community one enters into, even if that community does not recognize that fact.

One should not be unjust toward their enemy no matter the circumstance. He tells us that while habitation will develop virtue of character, the potentiality for all virtue exists within our souls. And yet to have a friend is to want to benefit someone for that other person's sake; it is not a merely self-interested strategy.

For this reason, any concern with virtue or politics requires consideration of pleasure and pain. The latter word, that can be translated as being-at-work, cannot mean mere behavior, however repetitive and constant it may be.

Just as a big mouse can be a small animal, two big chapters can make a small book. So it is clear that exercising theoretical wisdom is a more important component of our ultimate goal than practical wisdom. We can also compare these goods with other things that are desirable in themselves—pleasure, friendship, honor, and so on—and ask whether any of them is more desirable than the others.

Plato held that justice is an intrapersonal phenomenon. Only many great misfortunes will limit how blessed such a life can be, but "even in these circumstances something beautiful shines through". But it is also clear that he takes this motive to be compatible with a love of one's own good and a desire for one's own happiness.

Or is it to offer everything one has learned on the subject of discussion? Antigone contemplates in her imagination the act of burying her brother, and says "it would be a beautiful thing to die doing this. Not all of the Eudemian Ethics was revised: Doing anything well requires virtue or excellence, and therefore living well consists in activities caused by the rational soul in accordance with virtue or excellence.

And since each enjoys the trust and companionship of the other, there is considerable pleasure in these relationships as well. Second, in the akratic, it temporarily robs reason of its full acuity, thus handicapping it as a competitor.

The Nicomachean Ethics

We can make some progress towards solving this problem if we remind ourselves that at the beginning of the Ethics, Aristotle describes his inquiry as an attempt to develop a better understanding of what our ultimate aim should be.

However, an individual who possesses too much confidence will be rash, impulsive and hard headed. The original Socratic questioning on ethics started at least partly as a response to sophismwhich was a popular style of education and speech at the time.

The pleasure of recovering from an illness, for example, is bad without qualification—meaning that it is not one of the pleasures one would ideally choose, if one could completely control one's circumstances.Aristotle defines the supreme good as an activity of the rational soul in accordance with virtue.

Virtue for the Greeks is equivalent to excellence. A man has virtue as a flautist, for instance, if he plays the flute well, since playing the flute is.

Aristotle: Ethics

References are to Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics, Trans. J.A.K. Thomson (London: Penguin, Book 2, chapter vi. Aristotle is outlining a provisional definition of virtue. “It [Justice] is complete virtue in the fullest sense, because it is the active exercise of complete virtue; and it is complete because its possessor can exercise it in.

Notes on Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics A. Formal definition of happiness or flourishing (eudaimonia) Happiness (or flourishing or living well) is a complete and sufficient good. Aristotle discusses many virtues, but four are primary: courage, temperance, justice and practical wisdom.

Courage is how we deal Happiness is the activity of a rational soul in accordance with virtue, writes Aristotle in the Nicomachean Ethics/5(). Virtue Ethics: Aristotle > Enrolled in Plato's Athens Academy at age 17 & was a live long student.

> After Plato's death, he formed/founded his own school, th e Lyceum. A summary of Book V in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Nicomachean Ethics and what it means.

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Aristotles notions of the good happiness virtue and justice in the book nicomachean ethics
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