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Explain and assess the role that virtue plays in Aristotle's theory of justice - Essay Example

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Explain and assess the role that virtue plays in Aristotle's theory of justice

Aristotle claimed that justice should be dispensed in an appropriate manner. He also believed in the strength of virtue in changing the society. Aristotle's book, ‘Nicomachean Ethics’ explained the theory of virtue. He mentioned two kinds of virtue: the moral variety, and the intellectual variety (Raphael 2003). When Aristotle mentioned the subject of moral virtues, he spoke in reference to a person's character, and the way he conducted himself in his daily life. He stated that an individual’s character is a learned function, and not one that he was born with. Essentially, he felt that virtue was merely the balance between different extremes. The Greek term for "happiness" is pronounced as Eudaimonia, which basically refers to maintaining a pleasant spirit. In Aristotle’s view, the highest objective of man was to maintain joy. Aristotle stressed that the definition of happiness was not merely keeping a happy face on a constant basis, or running after pleasure filled activities so that one can maintain superficial joy. This is how the current society tends to define happiness (Raphael 2003). Happiness and the possession of good morals are factors that are linked, in Aristotle’s view. ...
It is probable that the founding fathers of America had this definition of happiness in mind when they declared in the declaration of independence that “the pursuit of happiness” was to be considered as an objective in the new nation. In Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, the factors that were necessary to achieve eudaimonia were defined as self capability and decisiveness. Aristotle affirmed that these characteristics could only be achieved through individual initiative and ambition, which he referred to as the "humanistic" criterion (Raphael 2003). Aristotle also rejected the concept that the greatest good was a god given characteristic that could not be achieved without some kind of divine assistance. H e also believed that happiness was the one characteristic or aspect that was its own reward. It could not be used as a means to realise another higher state of contentment, in other words. Those who discovered real happiness, according to Aristotle, would not feel the desire for something else or to experience some other state of contentment. Aristotle categorised virtues in practical terms. He was of the opinion that virtues dealt with the activities and zeal of the activities that people took part in, and what those activities made them feel like. He divided people’s feelings to fundamental pain and pleasure codes. He was endeavouring to instruct the citizens of Athens in the right way to carry themselves. He also believed that there was no one wrong or right way to feel. In the book on ‘Nichomachean Ethics’, Aristotle affirmed that if a person participated in 'good' acts, or assisted his fellow man, he would ...Show more


Aristotle’s Views on Justice and Virtue Introduction Aristotle, who lived between 384 BC and 322 BC, is still perceived as one of the initiators of the concept of Western democracy. Aristotle stated that justice is a word that can be used to define impartiality or fairness, as injustice describes anarchy and inequality…
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Explain and assess the role that virtue plays in Aristotles theory of justice essay example
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