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Aristotle's ethics - Essay Example

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Aristotle's ethics

Happiness is the central core of living, which depends entirely on cultivation of virtues. According to Aristotle, playing the mean is the way of cultivating virtues that includes moral virtues for the attainment of individual happiness. Human beings make choices depending on the circumstances that surround them by choosing on one option and neglecting the other. Aristotle believed that his task of ethics was to come up with the highest and the best good that is found in human life. He argued that all human activities always aim at some recognized higher end that we always consider as good. Most activities that human beings incur in are a means of achieving a higher end. He discussed the nature of vices and virtues that are involved in evaluating morals, the conditions that ascribes moral responsibility towards an individual agent and the methods that one incurs to achieve happiness in life. Aristotle rounded off his explanation of what constituted achievement of true happiness by stating that pleasure is not good in itself because it is incomplete according to its nature. The activities that people engage in are associated with their own distinctive pleasures. Therefore, human beings are directed and guided in nature by their choice or preference for participating in pleasant activities rather than in unpleasant activities. True happiness lies in behavior that leads to virtue, since this alone provides genuine value and not just amusement. In sum, he held that contemplation is the highest form of ethical activity because it is self-reliant, complete, and continuous. Aristotelian ethics states that every activity posses a final cause and the aim for the same good. There is no infinite regress that is associated with extrinsic goods hence there must be highest good, which all human activities aspire which he referred to as happiness. Virtues are opposed to intellectual capacity therefore, virtues of characters happen due to dispositions to act in a given way in response to some similar situations and the habits that one has which makes him behave in a certain way. Good conduct arises from habits, which can be acquired through recurring actions and corrections that makes ethics a practical discipline. Each virtue is a state that naturally seeks its own means, which is relative in its nature. The virtuous habit of any action is an intermediate state between opposed vices of deficiency and excess. In application of this theory of virtue, Aristotle asserts that flexibility is paramount as friendliness is far from deficiency than its excesses. This is because few human beings are inclined naturally to undervalue pleasure; however, it is unusual to ignore or overlook either of the extremes but to regard the virtue opposite the other vices. Aristotle’s ethics are governed at moderate rates, which have dominated the western cultures for a very long time. Ethics being a practical science focuses on human nature that works on accepting a moral responsibility. Nevertheless, moral evaluation of action presupposes attributions of responsibilities to human agents. This does not apply to all attributions, as responsible actions must be taken voluntarily. Aristotle gave out two conditions under which human actions become voluntary. First, he asserted that actions which are produced by external forces are taken as involuntary which the agent is not fully responsible for. Secondly, ...Show more

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Name Instructor Course Date Aristotle’s Ethics For Aristotle, there are two kinds of virtue: moral and intellectual virtue. Moral virtues are not innate according to Aristotle but they are acquired. For instance, an individual becomes trustworthy by acting truthfully…
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