Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics
As long as humans have been able to reason there has been a long debated agreement of what is right and wrong. Philosophers argue wither humans are capable of developing morals and virtues based on their environment and lifestyle. Aristotle believed that virtue consists of learning through experiences, which is the path, relative to ourselves, between the choices we may stumble into. Also Aristotle also stated that even with his “doctrine of the mean” that virtue is a case by case and that there are no clear guidelines to rights and wrongs except that there are past cases that outlay the right and wrong.
Aristotle explains that through education a human can began to become virtuous but more so by the environment he lives in has a large impact for his moral character. Though the “doctrine of mean” outlays the extremes of cases of virtuous choices they are the best to reference to by a case-to-case approach. Aristotle holds virtue to be an all-or-nothing endeavor and by his “doctrine of mean,” one can base their choices to be virtuous or not, yet this will all be impacted on the environment of the individual.
I believe that Aristotle defines virtue through the act of knowing wither the choice is right or wrong. While the choice is based on the person and their ability to reason wither the choice will be virtuous or not. “The good for man is an activity of the soul in accordance with virtue, or if there are more kinds of virtue than one, in accordance with the best and most perfect kind. ” (sparknotes. com, 2011) Aristotle believed in that all men should peruse education so that they can be educated to help them be guided to the right choice.
Aristotle believed that all virtues came from the same source and that the spring from a unified character, so no good person can show virtues without showing them all. He believed that you can pick virtues or choose them that they are presented to you and based on the way you reacted to them would determine your virtuous. Aristotle “doctrine of mean” is a guide to help one determine the extremes of their choice.
Aristotle continually reminded that his “doctrine of mean” was not a precise formula or a strict rule, more so a guide and place to discuss the extremes of virtues. Saying that courage is a mean between rashness and cowardice does not mean that courage stands exactly in between these two extremes, nor does it mean that courage is the same for all people. ” (sparknotes. com, 2011) Aristotle believed that we could learn virtues through practice, but this implies that there are no strict rules but more so just a guideline to help us make the right ethical choice. Ethics is the moral dilemma that many humans deal with, wither their action will be ethical for not only their life but those they are associated with.
Can a vicious character be changed? According to Aristotle he believed that through a series of good choices could not change vicious character. “Aristotle’s conception of virtue as something learned through habit rather than through reasoning makes a great deal of practical sense. We can generally trace unpleasantness to the circumstances in which a person grew up, and it is difficult to make an unpleasant person pleasant simply by providing reasons for behaving more pleasantly. (sparknotes. com, 2011) So if a person were raised to be vicious according to Aristotle that person would not be un-vicious. I believe in this, because if a person is raised with love and cared for they are very unlikely to act out, while those that are mistreated and raised with no live act out more often.
“According to Aristotle’s view, however, a virtuous person is naturally inclined to choose the correct behavior in any situation without appealing to rules or maxims. (sparknotes, 2011) After reading through Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics I have begun to understand how certain people are bound to end up. Learning virtues is a habit and not something that you are born with. Aristotle provides that through education a human can began to become virtuous but more so by the environment he lives in has a large impact for his moral character. So if someone is raised in the proper environment and purses education he is more inclined to become a virtuous person.