Essay on Aristotle 's View Of Virtue

842 Words Dec 13th, 2015 4 Pages
Aristotle was an ancient Greek philosopher, a student of Socrates, and the teacher and mentor to individuals such as Alexander the Great. His influence has spanned the cultures of the world for thousands of years (Shields, 2015). Aristotle contended that a virtuous life was the key to a happy life. For him, virtue was the mean between two extremes. A virtuous person, said Aristotle, was neither excessive nor depleted in his good characteristics and actions. One issue that Aristotle confronted in order to examine the issue of virtue was generosity. The issue of generosity provides an interesting case by which one may study and understand Nicomachean ethics. If virtue is the mean between extremes, we must then ask: can one be too generous?
Aristotle’s Viewpoint Greek philosopher Aristotle argues that virtue is the mean between extremes. His argument hinges on the basic concept that too much of a good thing is not good, and too little of a bad thing may be bad. With respect to the issue of generosity, Aristotle argues (Irwin, 1999):
Premise 1: If one is too generous in giving the wrong amount, to the wrong people, at the wrong time, then one will soon have nothing left with which to be generously given.
Premise 2: If one is not generous at all then he or she is deficient in giving and excessive in taking – neither of which are virtuous.
Conclusion: Therefore, one should give to the right people, in the right amount, at the right time in order to be neither deficient in…

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