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Rusty Ralph P.

Orga 1PHL(irreg)

December 11, 2012

Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle Aristotles ethics shows us what form and style of life are necessary to form happiness. The relation between virtue and happiness is the central issue of Aristotelian Ethics. o Good that at which everything aims. Goal or purpose to which something or somebody moves. Virtue is the key to achieve eudemonia. o Eudamonia the possible supreme good. It is badly but inevitably translated by happiness, badly because it includes both the notion of behaving well and the notion of faring well.1 o Happy/happiness is a predicate to be used of a whole life. It is lives that we are judging when we call someone happy or unhappy and not particular states or actions. 2 The good for humankind is an activity of the soul in accordance with the virtue o Virtue- that which ensures it is in a good state and makes it perform its function well. Two kinds of virtue o Intellectual Virtue owes its origins and its growth more to teaching, and so needs experience and time. o Ethical Virtue owes its origin and growth more to habit. (from the word ethos; custom or habit) No ethical virtue arises in us by nature, for none of the things that exist by nature can be radically be changed by practice/habituation. Ethical virtue is not contrary to nature. We are, by nature, constituted to acquire them, through practice that fully develops them. Good for mankind, we do things to be good at it. (striving to reach for the good) The causes and means of the destruction of virtues is the same as its cultivation. It is through how a man deals with a specific situation. If a man behave in a manner that does not strive for the good, then it will go the other way. The activities that we perform must be of a certain kind, so the dispositions that follow from them will differ. Thus the habits we form in our childhood are important because it acts as a foundation of our virtue. The three conditions arising in the soul. (feelings, capacities and dispositions) Neither virtues nor the vices are feelings. Moreover, we are not praised or blamed on account of our feelings. So if the virtues are neither feelings nor capacities, it remains that they are dispositions. In everything continuous and divisible, one can have a larger or smaller or equal quantity, either with respect to the object or relative to us.. Everyone who understands what they are doing avoids excess and deficiency and seeks out and chooses the mean. Virtue will always aim at mean. (in the sense of ethical Virtue) Virtue is concerned with feelings and action. While the mean is praised and on the right path. Thus, virtue is mean and it aims at what is intermediate.
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A Short History of Ethics, 1966, Alasdair Mac Intyre. Ibid.

Virtue then is a disposition concerned with choice, lying on a mean that is relative to us, determined by the reason, in the way a prudent man would determine it.