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Theory of Ethics - Essay Example

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Theory of 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. Playing the mean is the virtue between two extreme excesses and deficiency. For instance, exercising the act of justice in getting too little or getting too much. Therefore, human beings make choices depending on the circumstances that surround them by choosing on one option and neglecting the other with the aim of achieving great happiness. Aristotle believed that task of ethics was to come up with the highest and the best good that is found in human life. Thus, 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 attaining 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. According to Aristotle, every activity posses a final cause and the aim for the same good. There is no infinite regress that is associated with extrinsic goods and thus there must be the highest good, which all-human activities aim. He referred to this as happiness and the complexities that is involved in actualizing it. Things that are of any variety, acquires characteristic function, which they later perform. The good for most human beings must involve proper functioning of human life which the soul or mind controls to express genuine excellence and virtue. Therefore, human life should be aimed in total conformity with rational natures. Thus, the satisfaction of a particular desire and acquisition of the material goods is less important as compared to achievement of the virtues. Therefore, a happy person will appropriately exhibit a personality that is balanced between desire and reason with moderation characterizing all. Virtue is a reward on its own and true happiness can be attained through cultivation of virtues that make up human life as complete. For Aristotle, God exists in philosophical abstraction but not in body or personality. Human happiness is privilege of few people in society who are destined to be servants. These people get it by the practice of morals, which, for Aristotle, are the actions of a few who are destined to be servants. Happiness has nothing to do with religion Virtues are opposed to intellectual capacity and thus virtues of characters are 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, which makes ethics a practical discipline. Each virtue is a state that naturally seeks its own means, which is relative. The virtuous habit of any action is an intermediate state between opposed vices of deficiency and excess. In application of this theory of virtue, flexibility is paramount as friendliness is far from deficiency than its excesses. This is because few human beings are inclined naturally to undervalue pleasure thus it is unusual to ignore or overlook either of the extremes but to regard the virtue opposite the other vices. Thus, Aristotle’s ethics is governed at moderate rates, which have dominated the western cultures for a very long time. Ethics ...Show more


Name Instructor Course Date Theory of Ethics According to 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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Theory of Ethics Essay essay example
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