Aristotle's Rule Of Ethics

Improved Essays
The rule of ethics remains to be one of the most controversial topics in philosophy. The main debate has been whether the rules of ethics are relative or universal. Philosophers have been compelled by the topic over time and argued many ideas. In relativist theories, there is no universal standard code of ethics; it varies from person to person, time to time, and culture to culture. However universalist theories believe that ethics, virtue, and vice are universal which are meant to apply to all people at all times following a standard. No matter which theory believed in, the rules of ethics create a civil world to live in. They help us decide which actions to take and which paths to choose in life. In order to be reasonable creatures, …show more content…
In other words, there is reason or purpose for everything. Aristotle noted that human beings are different from other creatures due to soul and reason. As human beings, we have the ability to try to understand why we do the things we do. In regards to the soul, Aristotle established three aspects of the soul: feelings, capacities, and disposition. The feelings are the symptoms of pleasure and pain. Capacities are the innate ability to have feelings. Both feelings and capacities are the same for everyone. Dispositions however are subjective in how inclined or ill-inclined we are to exhibit certain feelings. Although all of our souls are not the same, Aristotle states that personal happiness is the goal of ethics that all human beings strive towards. He claims this due to the way we behave being directly related to virtue and vice. Happiness lies in the middle grounds of excess of virtue and excess of vice. By pinpointing this middle ground, the best action can be determined. Happiness is then a common ground for how to live a good life. Furthermore, eudaemonia is the reward for being a good person. This happiness acts as the satisfaction from knowing that we have done the right thing. Moreover, Aristotle's notion of the soul is atomistic where we have cosmic energy created by the Gods that means that we have to be good people for the soul which returns to the universe. Perfection of the soul is the goal of ethics. In relation to happiness, arete means excellence where happiness in lives is excellence and the perfection of the soul will return to the universe as it came. Personal happiness will account for a good life for human

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    They both believed that the purpose of human actions was to be happy, which would lead to a good life. For Aristotle, he believed that we strive towards goals in order to find happiness (telos). He also believed that nobody pursues happiness for the sake of something else. Therefore, Aristotle concluded that happiness makes life worthwhile. For Epicurus, he believed that human pleasure was the ultimate happiness.…

    • 1025 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Aristotle links the concept of happiness and virtue in saying that the most important factor in the effort to achieve this sense of happiness is to have a good moral character. He goes on to say that one must have this sense of complete virtue, meaning that it is not enough to have a few virtues but instead one must strive to possess them all in order to achieve happiness in the end. He says, “The happy person is the one who expresses complete virtue in his activities, with an adequate supply of external goods, not for just anytime but for a complete life” (Nicomachean Ethics, 10101a15). This quote backs up Aristotle’s argument in that happiness consists of achieving these virtuous actions not just at certain points in one’s life but throughout one’s whole lifetime. Aristotle goes on to say that life requires us to make choices, and some of them bring us immediate pleasure while others require some sort of sacrifice to reach happiness.…

    • 1658 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Chuang Tzu states in Basic Writings that those who live their lives according to The Way is how a person can live to their fullest potential. While there are similarities between the philosopher’s views, they each have main factors in their ideas that set them apart from each other. “Eudaimonia” is the term that Aristotle uses to describe happiness, living life as fully as possible and fulfilled. He also says happiness is the highest good, and the means to reaching this state are to be virtuous (Pol. 7.8).…

    • 1390 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In distinguishing the functions in each of Aristotle’s arguments, it elicits the belief in man’s responsibility to further improve the self to attain a life enriched in goodness. In turn, this goodness then establishes a happy life. However, it is not proven that the ultimate ends lies within happiness. Instead, it is approximated that human life benefits from this. The science of politics promotes moral value, and is exercised with substantiating goodness in…

    • 1031 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    It is only attainable through virtues. Aristotle refers to virtue as the potential excellence of an individual. “Human good turns out to be activity of soul in accordance with virtue” (Nicomachean Ethics, p. 52/2). Socrates says this excellence is what a person strives to achieve in order to attain happiness and that this excellence comes from the soul. The two philosophers believe that wisdom is the primary virtue because it is through wisdom that one is able to obtain the self-knowledge necessary to realize one’s…

    • 1776 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Aristotle says “Yet one ought to say not only this – that virtue is a characteristic – but also what sort of characteristic it is. So it must be stated that every virtue both brings that of which it is the virtue into a good condition and causes work belonging to that thing to be done well.” (1106a) Virtue is what makes a thing perform its function appropriately. The habit from which the person becomes good is virtue, because virtue is a mean between two vices. Habit is defined as a regular pattern of behavior, often unconscious thought. We can become virtuous through habit.…

    • 1180 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The theory of Aristotle’s ethic is to find the highest and good in life which he believes to be happiness. In Aristotle’s terms, all our actions or goals is used for to reach our ultimate goal which will be happiness in itself. This happiness isn’t simply temporary moments of desires, but it is defined by Aristotle as one’s worth living by quality of life. To achieve one’s happiness is to obtain excellence or virtue because it will provide a life guided by reason. As rational beings, we need both intellectual and moral virtues through the practices of our lives’ experiences.…

    • 710 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Morally good act are consequence in the fulfillment of happiness in people. Both philosopher are appealing to a consequence of the first principle and to the end of duties, Kant considers the consequence of maxim becoming a universal law of nature, and Mill consequence of his principle is a certain kind of action (ex, lying). In also pursuing happiness in the absence of pain. All human should be good in doing the right thing act in accordance to the maxim and in such way to produce the greatest amount of happiness for everyone affected by our acts in accordance to virtue by treating people like their…

    • 992 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    He believed in two different states that each person has; the Good and the End (“Moral Philosophy”). When describing the Good, Socrates explains that people unconsciously do things that make them happy and that physical objects make one feel satisfied at the same time (“Moral Philosophy”). The whole idea of the Good is that humans act in a positive way and that they just want to live a happy and meaningful life (Moral Philosophy”). Happiness is the one thing all humans want to have in their lives and the Good is that explanation. The End is the other idea Socrates had and goes along with the Good.…

    • 1365 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    They both agreed on one aspect of happiness. They both came to the final conclusion that in order to attain genuine happiness, men should be engaging in activities that are specific to humans. Aristotle argues that and individual practicing their virtues is what ultimately leads to their happiness. Aristotle states that “virtue is a trained faculty or habit.” (Aristotle) This implies that the habit of choosing the thing that makes a person good leads to happiness.…

    • 702 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays