Definition Of Virtue And Morality Essay

1533 Words Oct 27th, 2016 7 Pages
Virtue, or that which is often considered “ethical” in quality or nature of character, has continually evolved since its early conception. Yet it continues to be a recurring issue in modern philosophical discourse due to it’s correlation with the idea of “morality”. Society holds us accountable to live by honorable and “moral” standards, for if you were to renounce a life of morality you would be deemed an outcast or shunned from society. However, one cannot live a “moral” lifestyle without understanding the underlying principles. Virtue, in regards to Aristotelian notion, refers to “Eudaimonia” or happiness. Eudaimonia is the ultimate “telos”, or end goal in life, with all virtuous actions taken involving teleological purposes with the eventual end of reaching Eudaimonia. Steps taken to reach teleological goals are deduced from reason, with the development of “good” character through rationality. Despite this, rationality alone does not develop virtue, but rather the experience of habitual practice is what garners virtuous qualities (Aristotle, 2009). Aristotle understood goodness derived from practicality of accomplishments, and the function of each goal was to serve a higher purpose. In contrast, Kant believed that ethical actions are made for their deontological purpose – each action should be done for the sake of duty itself, not for a higher purpose. Additionally, that virtue should be held to a rational, universal standard which is outlined in his categorical…

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