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Aristotelian Ethics: Emotion and Moral Virtue - Essay Example
The debate on emotion and moral virtue reveals how an individual sees the essence of emotion and its connection to reason has a major influence on an individual’s understanding of virtue. It will partly influence how a person appreciates virtue and the steps one will create to attain it…
Aristotle is on the side of virtue ethicists. Aristotle argues that moral virtue is about right emotion and right action. The moral individual is generally situated in the middle as regards both. Hence Aristotle explains the premise: the virtuous individual feels “both fear and confidence and appetite and anger and pity and in general pleasure and pain… at the right times, with reference to the right objects, towards the right people, with the right aim, and in the right way” (Broadie 100). Simply put, to have emotions that are controlled and nurtured at the aforementioned ways is a distinguishing feature of moral distinction.
Ethical theory is practical to the extent that it is a component of a larger task of establishing a goal which orients behavior. As argued by Aristotle, the objective of his analysis is to provide us with “knowledge [gnosis] of the good that will have great influence on our lives. And like archers who have some target [skopon] to aim at, with this knowledge we shall be more likely to hit upon what is right” (Sherman 12). Aristotelian ethics teaches us that to set a goal is simply to establish practical principles for good living. ...