Aristotle 's Philosophy And Ethics Essay

998 Words Dec 2nd, 2016 4 Pages
One of the most brilliant minds in history was Aristotle, a Greek Philosopher who learned from none other than Plato, an equally great philosopher. Aristotle is known for writing a vast amount on the study of philosophy and ethics. One of his most notable works is Nicomachean Ethics. In the second book of this collection, he discusses the difference between intellectual and moral virtue. However, before one can delve into the difference between two types of something, one must first understand what the overall something is. Or in this case, before discussing intellectual and moral virtue, an explanation of virtue itself must be made clear. While it is never explicitly stated in Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle defines virtue as the desire and practice of acting in the right way that is the mean between the positive and negative extremes of whatever excellence is being discussed.
One of the key aspects of Aristotle’s definition of moral virtue is that it is deliberately and carefully developed. One of the most important lines in the entire collection is the following: “So virtue is a purposive disposition, lying in a mean that is relative to us and determined by a rational principle, by that which a prudnent man would use to determine it.” What is meant by this is that virtue has a purpose, is in the mean between two extreme aspects of the virtue, and that our own rationale determines it. His words for these extremes are excess and deficiency, or having far too much or far…

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