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Virtue 1: aristotle's virtue ethics

  • Eudaimonia. Happiness, for Aristotle, consists of a life spent fulfilling the intellectual and moral virtues. These modes of action are auto-telic, that is, they are self-justifying and contain their own ends. By carrying out the moral and intellectual virtues for a lifetime, we realize ourselves fully as humans. Because we are doing what we were meant to do, we are happy in this special sense of eudaimonia.
  • Arete. Arete is the Greek word we usually translate as "virtue". But arete is more faithfully translated as excellence. For Aristotle, the moral and intellectual virtues represent excellences. So the moral life is more than just staying out of trouble. Under Aristotle, it is centered in pursuing and achieving excellence for a lifetime.
  • Virtue as the Mean. Aristotle also characterizes virtue as a settled disposition to choose the mean between the extremes of excess and defect, all relative to person and situation. Courage (the virtue) is the mean between the extremes of excess (too much courage or recklessness) and defect (too little courage or cowardice). Aristotle's claim that most or all of the virtues can be specified as the mean between extremes is controversial. While the doctrine of the mean is dropped in Virtue 2 and Virtue 3, we will still use it in developing virtue tables. (See exercise 1 below.) You may not find both extremes for the virtues you have been assigned but make the effort nonetheless.
  • Ethos. "Ethos" translates as character which, for Aristotle, composes the seat of the virtues. Virtues are well settled dispositions or habits that have been incorporated into our characters. Because our characters are manifested in our actions, the patterns formed by these over time reveal who we are. This can be formulated as a decision-making test, the public identification test . Because we reveal who we are through our actions we can ask, when considering an action, whether we would care to be publicly identified with this action. "Would I want to be publicly known as the kind of person who would perform that kind of action? Would I, through my cowardly action, want to be publicly identified as a coward? Would I, through my responsible action, want to be publicly identified as a responsible person? Because actions provide others with a window into our characters, we must make sure be sure that they portray us as we want to be portrayed.
  • Aisthesis of the Phronimos. This Greek phrase, roughly translated as the perception of the morally experienced agent, reveals how important practice and experience are to Aristotle in his conception of moral development. One major difference between Aristotle and other ethicists (utilitarians and deontologists) is the emphasis that Aristotle places on developing into or becoming a moral person. For Aristotle, one becomes good by first repeatedly performing good actions. So morality is more like an acquired skill than a mechanical process. Through practice we develop sensitivities to what is morally relevant in a situation, we learn how to structure our situations to see moral problems and possibilities, and we develop the skill of "hitting" consistently on the mean between the extremes. All of these are skills that are cultivated in much the same way as a basketball player develops through practice the skill of shooting the ball through the hoop.
  • Bouleusis. This word translates as "deliberation." For Aristotle, moral skill is not the product of extensive deliberation (careful, exhaustive thinking about reasons, actions, principles, concepts, etc.) but of practice. Those who have developed the skill to find the mean can do so with very little thought and effort. Virtuous individuals, for Aristotle, are surprisingly unreflective. They act virtuously without thought because it has become second nature to them.
  • Akrasia. Ross translates this word as "incontinence" which is outmoded. A better translation is weakness of will. For Aristotle, knowing where virtue lies is not the same as doing what virtue demands. There are those who are unable to translate knowledge into resolution and then into action. Because akrasis (weakness of will) is very real for Aristotle, he also places emphasis in his theory of moral development on the cultivation of proper emotions to help motivate virtuous action. Later ethicists seek to oppose emotion and right action; Aristotle sees properly trained and cultivated emotions as strong motives to doing what virtue requires.
  • Logos Aristotle's full definition of virtue is "a state of character concerned with choice, lying in a mean, i.e. the mean relative to us, this being determined by a rational principle, and by that principle by which [a person] of practical wisdom would determine it." (Ross's translation in Nichomachean Ethics , 1106b, 36.) We have talked about character, the mean, and the person of practical wisdom. The last key term is "logos" which in this definition is translated by reason. This is a good translation if we take reason in its fullest sense so that it is not just the capacity to construct valid arguments but also includes the practical wisdom to assess the truth of the premises used in constructing these arguments. In this way, Aristotle expands reason beyond logic to include a fuller set of intellectual, practical, emotional, and perceptual skills that together form a practical kind of wisdom.

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Modules linking to computing cases. OpenStax CNX. Jul 26, 2007 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col10423/1.2
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