Compare And Contrast Plato And Virtue Ethics

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In order to better understand the concept of Virtue ethics it is necessary to analyze certain philosophers. These philosophers are Socrates through Plato, and Aristotle. There are three branches of normative ethics, and virtue ethics composes one of them; unlike deontology and consequentialism, virtue ethics focuses on the moral character of the individual, hence the name virtue – ethics (Hursthouse). Even though Aristotle’s and Plato’s approach to ethics, are that of virtue ethics, their points of view are not similar. In order to further understand the previous statement, it is necessary to analyze certain concepts from both philosophers. To understand Platonic virtue it is necessary to comprehend the following. First, one must understand his division of the soul and how this relates to an individual’s character. Second, one must grasp the importance of …show more content…
Similar to Plato, Aristotle places great importance on the concept of moderation or the mean. He believed that through the understanding of all three elements of the soul, in particular that of the animal or appetitive state and how it relates with reason, one would be able to practice virtue. Unlike Plato, who believed that an individual could not be aware of the good and not practice it, Aristotle believed that individuals were flawed and could know the good and still not do the good. Due to this, there is a great deal of importance placed on the mean. An individual can fall under two categories of non-virtue, deficiency and excess (45). Aristotle proves this through examples, such as that in the case of courage, where an individual that shows no courage (when necessary) is a coward and one that is too courageous is considered a fool; it is important to practice the state of character when it is necessary and this is what Aristotle tries to define as

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