Aristotle 's Ethics And Aristotelian Virtue Ethics Essay

861 Words Nov 16th, 2015 4 Pages
A crucial element to an ethical theory is any element that is necessary for the success of the ethical theory. It is commonly held that the most crucial elements to Aristotelian virtue ethics are the elements of teleology (telos) and virtue (hexis). The element of hexis, or disposition, is not specific to Aristotelian virtue ethics, disposition overlaps with deontological ethical theories, however, the element of telos is specific to virtue ethics, and therefore is more necessary for the success of the theory. The element of telos is the most crucial element to Aristotelian virtue ethics. Aristotle’s ethics relates to his four causes through the fourth cause, the final cause, which is the end for which the object is intended, this is the telos. Every “this” or “that” has a final cause, including man; Aristotle presents an ethical theory where, at its center, the subject is focused on obtaining the end or telos of man, a fully functioning soul. The role of the soul (psuche) in Aristotle’s ethics plays into the hexis of man. The psuche, in Aristotle’s view, is the “what-it-is-to-be,” or the form of man. This is not man itself:

Having sight is not sight nor is being blind blindness. 'The power to chop ' and 'being able to chop ' are not interchangeable expressions. Nor, moreover, are 'being able to chop ' and 'being an axe ': the former can, as the latter cannot, occur in a helpful answer to the question what makes this iron thing an axe.

“Activity of the rational soul…

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