Aristotle 's Theory Of Virtue Essay

862 Words Nov 30th, 2016 4 Pages
The concept of Aristotle 's theory to achieve the ultimate goal, happiness, is presented in his book called, “Nicomachean Ethics” where he explains the virtues that are needed to attain it. Aristotle develops the most important virtue of the “golden mean” in book two of his text. Throughout Aristotle 's work, he suggests that virtue is a mean to happiness that he believed is the universal goal of every human being. He discusses different types of virtue and uses them to form an appealing definition of happiness.
Aristotle defines the doctrine of the virtue, golden means, as between the extremes of excess and deficiency, which can be known as a middle point. What does Aristotle exactly mean when he is saying that virtue is a mean? Aristotle explains his concept of “means between the extremes” by the following quote: “In everything continuous and divisible, it is possible to grasp the more, the less, and the equal, and these either in reference to the thing itself or in relation to us. The equal is also a certain middle term between excess and deficiency. I mean by a “middle term of the thing” that which stands at an equal remove from each of the extremes which are in fact one and the same thing for all; though in relation to us, it that which neither takes too much nor is deficient. But this is not one thing, nor is it the same for all” (Book II, ch. 6, pg. 1106a-1106b). The point of the greatest virtue is not in the exact middle, but at the “golden mean” which can be…

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