Aristotle 's Philosophy Regarding The Nature Of Virtue Essay

1649 Words Oct 6th, 2014 7 Pages
In the Nicomachean Ethics, we are provided with Aristotle’s philosophy regarding the nature of virtue. He aims at explaining what virtue is, how it is acquired, and how it is related to both happiness (eudaimonia) and friendships. Overall, Aristotle is addressing the questions of: “What is a human being’s telos (purpose)?” and “What is the highest good?” It is by answering these questions that we will be able to see how Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics is related to both Socrates and Epictetus’ philosophy, not to mention how it has contributed to my understanding of generosity, and virtue overall. Let us start off by examining the question of “What is the highest good that people aim at?” According to Aristotle, “every art and every inquiry, and likewise every action and choice, seems to aim at some good” (1). However, at first there may seem to be many answers since it would depend on the activity. For instance, “of medical knowledge the end is health, of shipbuilding skill it is a boat, of strategic art it is victory” (1), and so on. Nonetheless, Aristotle points to a higher end, one which would be common to all good. The end result, a human being’s telos and which results from virtue, according to Aristotle, is eudaimonia, since it “appears to be something complete and self-sufficient, and is, therefore, the end of actions” (10). Now, from here we move on to see that there are two types of virtues, thinking and character. As far as how each type is acquired is as…

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