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Aristotlean Virtue Ethics - Assignment Example

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Aristotlean Virtue Ethics

Such, having the right quantity, including moral qualities, is to be desired and this can only be acquired through temperance. Temperance in everything should be exercised because this is wise and anything that is deficient and excessive should be avoided for this destroys temperance and the preservation of the mean. To strengthen value in accordance to Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, one has to practice it at all times. In the same manner that nature nurtures the body that is rightfully nourished and trained, virtue is also strengthened by perpetual observation. This virtue or moral disposition is determined on how pain or pleasure influences an individual’s behavior. If a man is susceptible to pleasure, he is licentious. But if he is able to restrain himself and abstains from indulging in physical pleasure naturally without distressing himself, then that said man is virtuous. The ability to restraint oneself from excessive physical pleasure is necessary because it is the temptation of pleasure and its excesses that makes and induces us to behave badly. For us to endure and become virtuous, training is necessary for an individual to feel and experience joy and grief at the right time which is a requirement in the observance of the golden mean. This training has to begin in infancy for us to be educated on becoming virtuous because joy and grief are the basic motivations that dictates our actions. If our sense of joy and grief are misplaced; that is, feeling joy and grief at the wrong time and place, it would inhibit us from becoming virtuous. We would tend to be shunning the wrong pains and we would be seeking the wrong virtues that would lead us to become licentious. Early training would predispose us to act according to the right virtues and would avoid vice as expressed in Nicomachean ethics. This sense of virtue which had been nurtured since infancy would also dictate on how we make choices. The good man, who had been trained since infancy to be feel joy and grief at the right time and place is likely to make right in his choices. In the same vein, the bad man will likely to decide wrong when given a choice especially when it involves pleasures. Pain and pleasure regulate our conduct and the virtuous man is he who effectively regulates his sense of pleasure and pain. And the real virtuous man is he who exercises virtue by choice and not just performs them because it is expedient. Rather, the real virtuous man effectively conducts himself and makes those choices for the sake of doing it amid difficulty and he knows what he is doing. Knowing the choices that one is making that is virtuous is different from an incidental virtuous man who only acts virtuous when it serves a particular purpose or without difficulty. The real virtuous man chooses it from a fix and steady purpose whatever the circumstance or qualification. The doctrine of the golden mean According to Aristotle’s Nicomachean ethics, the acquisition of virtue is a result of the right habit which was nurtured by education and choice. This virtue which has been nurtured by early training and conscientious choice can be destroyed either by excesses or deficiency and it is important that the individual should hit the mean condition of virtue to remain virtuous. This “golden mean” according to Aristotle is an approximation of in-betweens between two extremes that is neither excessive nor deficient. It is to feel fear, confidence, desire, anger, pity and pleasure that is neither too much nor too little because both polarized directions are wrong. What is desired is to have “feelings at the right times on the right grounds towards the right ...Show more


According to Aristotle’s Virtue Ethics as contained in his discourse on Nicomachean Ethics, anything in excess or taken to the extreme is bad. This ethical rule is based on the law of nature that anything excessive is destructive…
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Aristotlean Virtue Ethics essay example
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