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What is Virtue - Essay Example

The excellent man in his duty harms his enemies, benefits his friends, and is aimed at performing activities that shield him from harm. It continues to outline an excellent woman as one who is obedient to her husband and preserves the contents of her house. The Meno asserts that virtues share a unit form, compelling individuals to work towards a specific goal: the wellbeing of the individual and the city (72c7, 72d8, and 72e5). Subsequently, the Meno attributes an excellent person as one characterized by the virtue of doing noble deeds. The Meno attributes noble deeds as activities meant to do good to the individual himself and the city. This stipulates that an excellent person is one who would chooses the noble over the ignoble, even though it entails sacrificing his will for what is ideally good and benefits the greater society. Virtues are evidenced by an individual’s ability to sacrifice for the greater good (77b2-b5). Additionally, Meno agrees with Socrates that virtue is prudence and knowledge. He affirms that an excellent person is one who has the knowledge and can tell apart what is right from what is wrong. Consequently, an excellent person is one who is prudent, exhibiting caution in his activities (89a3-5, c2-4). Aristotle defines a virtue as a mean. He outlines that an excellent person is characterized by the ability to steer between two extreme points. Aristotle asserts that the ability to arrive at the mean is pleasant for any excellent person and it is not aimed at causing

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him pain (1120a27-28). He attributes this mean as an attribute of an excellent person who depicts courage by avoiding too fearful and consequently not engaging in fearful events. He attributes an excellent person as one who maintains his temper by not being extremely angry, but getting angry enough (1106a26-28 and 1106b20). In conjunction, Aristotle documents that the goals of a person’s behavior are for either his own good or the greater good depending on the circumstance that the individual was faced with. Activities, which their goodness depends upon circumstances (external goods), are stipulated by Aristotle as wealth, friendship, strength, honor, and power (1098b18-20). He avows that courage, justice, wisdom, and temperance, which come from arriving at the mean foretold (1177b17-24), characterize a person who has intellectual virtue. However, Aristotle unlike Plato, does not attribute a virtue exercised as an individual as noble. He documents that what matters is the propelling factors to the individual performing the task. He gives an example of wealth where he illustrates that if an individual does an act, which to other people is noble, but his main aim is to acquire wealth, then his good act is not noble but wealth is. He avows that an excellent person can only be described as having virtues if he does the task for the greater good not his own good. He voices that the higher the hierarchy, the greater the call to perform for the broader benefit stipulating a characteristic of an excellent person (1123b20). Cicero defined a virtue as a morally right action. He asserted that activities that stemmed from moral goodness were morally right and consequently any morally right action was a virtue. He outlined temperance, wisdom, fortitude, and justice as the characteristics of an excellent person. Temperance was a characteristic outlined by a person’s ability to control his temper. Wisdom was a characteristic outlined by the intellectual capacity of the individual. Justice outlined giving every individual an opportunity to be heard. Fortitude outlined the strength of a noble spirit. Cicero outlined that an


Plato a student of Socrates takes the first initiative in defining a virtue though his Meno. Plato’s Meno stipulates that a virtue as any task than an individual perform at any time within his lifetime (72a6-b7 and c6-d1)…
Author : aidanherzog
What is Virtue
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