Aristotle virtue and character

Aristotle virtue and character - 53 CHAPTER2 MO make one...

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Unformatted text preview: 53 CHAPTER2 - MO make one with another, an of nature. The promises an betWeen the two men .111 Swiss and an Indian, in binding to them, though of nature in reference keeping of faith belong to members of soctety. state of nature, I . RY SELECTIONS RALTHLO lves what to d0 0? not to agreemeilt 33:33:? file not by ourselves suf» d0": bill orgdrnish ourselves with competent stor:1 £10131} t0 needful for such a life as our nature dot (dfesiiilen—g: life fit for the dignity of man~‘;l;1e::e:::: to supply those defects and unperfsietizrisehes we in us as living single and solely y_ dfefiow_ , lly induced to seek communion an 'fin 3“? “all? thers‘ this was the cause of men s uni g :IEEnYdlve: at dist in politic societies”-—but I more- ' that state, 1 men are naturally in WC! affirm that 31 own consents they make (1 yet still be in the state d bargains for truck, etc., Soldania, in or between a the woods of America, are they are perfectly in a state to one another. For truth and men as men, and “0‘3 as extremes of extravagance and stinginess. work of Aristotle. ' CHARACTERISTICS OF THE GO OD will not only oppose the ookerr—(Eccl. Pol., . ., _ , , - ,uu by theit . . - . . - of the JuchCiOUSEI which have been hitherto and remain SO mbel‘S o f some polltlc somety, and _1 The good IS the end of action. where he Says, .The laws f nature “do bind men themselvesme e uel of this discoursfl, to make it mentioned,” i.e., the laws 0 although they have doubt not, In the S q that us return once again to the good we are absolutely, even a never any settled f / 5 they are men, lear. ellowship, and nev very c okrng for, and consider just what it could be, Vit is apparently one thing in one action or and another thing in another; for it is one in medicine, another in generalship, and so he rest. a then, is the good in each of these cases? t-rs that for the sake of which the other things ,- and in medicine this is health, in general— to y', in house-building a house, in another thing else, but in every action and decision _ since it is for the sake of the end that he other things. there is some end of everything that is er any solemn READING QUESTIONS 1. [Explain i yolll 0W“ Wnltl‘l [ha idea (If a natulal “gill. 2 1“ Elddltlfln t3 the lights to hfe! heaith, llbelty, and POSSESSIOIL this selection? what rights does Locke discuss in DISCUSSION QUESTIONS g that there are natural rights, mentioned by Locke in our are they any such rights not , Assumin , t natu- -. . . . 1 selection? . llaw concgpfion of morality. Does Locke s appeal 0 __on, this Will be the good pursued in 2. Both Aquinas and Loeke afiefighfitl]; theory that is lacking in AqumaS? if th e are more ends than one, these will ral rights add anything tOt pursued in action. as progressed, then, to the same efére, that the highest end is the must try to clarify this still more. ,, M_WWMWWAMW “’ . WW rently there are many ends, we m', e.g., wealth, flutes and, in because of something else; It the history of philosophy: .- d heart Ethics, in which Aristotle. - ity in accordan de a tremendous impact 0 ‘ti 5 of Aristotle have ma . - ' h mac The Thin ngd o The followmg selection is froln MC. 0 1 a life of activ contll‘llle to O S ' happy or good life essentially invo ves begins by arguing that a ARISTOTLE - Virtue and Character 59 with virtue. He then goes on to define virtue as a disposition to avoid extremes in feeling and action. For example, in matters relating to money, the virtue of generosity stands between the Recommended Reading: See virtue ethics, chap. l, sec. 2E, for a presentation of a con- temporary version of a virtue—based account of right and wrong action that is inspired by the Hence, if only one end is complete, this will be what we are looking for; and if more than one are com“ plete, the most complete of these will be what we are looking for. CRITERIA FOR COMPLETENESS An end pursued in itself, we say, is more complete than an end pursued because of something else; and an end that is never choiceworthy because of some- thing else is more complete than ends that are choice- worthy both in themselves and because of this end; and hence an end that is always [choiceworthy, and also] choiceworthy in itself, never because of some- thing else, is unconditionally complete. 3. Happiness meets the criteria for completeness, but other goods do not. Now happiness more than anything else seems unconditionally complete, since we always [choose it, and also] choose it because of itself, never because of something else. Honor, pleasure, understanding and every virtue we certainly choose because of them— selves, since we would choose each of them even if it had no further result, but we also choose them for the sake of happiness, supposing that through them we shall be happy. Happiness, by contrast, no one ever chooses for their sake, or for the sake of anything else at all. 60 CH AFTER 2 - 4. The good is self— The same conclusion [that h also appears to complete good Now what we con suffices for a solitary isolated life, but w dren, wife and in general izens, since a human being [ani limit; f and children’s child shall go on without another time Anyhow, we regard something as self-sufficient their functions and ac when all by itself it makes a life choiceworthy and lacle none, and is by nature idle, without ing nothing; and that is what we think happiness does. just as eye, hand, foot and, in g part apparently has its functio worthy; so is happiness. ascribe to a human being some of theirs? 5. The good is most choice Moreover, [the compl and] we think happiness goods, since it is not many. If it Were co clearly, we think th goods would make it smallest good] that is tity of goods rial good], an choiceworthy. [But w make happiness more choiceworthy] Happiness, th plete and self—su MORALTHEO seems to be self— for friends an mall. Here,__ however, We or if we extend the goo ten and to limit; but we must ex ete good is mos is most choic counted as one tinted as one amon at the addition of more choiceworthy; added becomes an extra [so creating a good larger than the origi- d the larger of two e do not t choiceworthy; he sufficient,- so is happiness. goods en, is apparently s fficient, since it is things pursued in action. A clearer account cf the g activity expressing virtue. best good is. d fellow-cit— is a naturally political must impose some d to parents’ parents friends of friends, we t choiceworthy, eworthy of all RY SELECTIONS i. lfsomething has afunction, its 9 for amine this good among g many, then, the smallest of for [the quan~ is always more hink any addition can nce it is most omething com- the end of the cod: the human soul’s Then do the carpenter and function. appiness is complete] follow from self~sufficiency, since the Well, perhaps we shall find the best sufficient. find the function of a human being. nt as self—sufficient is not what good, i.e., [doing] well, for a flautist, a person by himself, living an and every craftsman, and, in ge hat suffices also for parents, chil— has a function and [characteris depend on its function, the same seem a human being, if a hum function. th tions, w 3. The humanfunction. this be‘? For living is apparent What, then, could shared with plants, but what special function of a human and growth. The life n set aside the life of nutrition in order is som this too is appare animal. The remaini of life of action of reason. Clarification cf Now this [par ferent ways], one as part], the othe [We intend both] Moreo two ways [as capa take [a human being’ activity, since this seem extent. hile a human being has any function? 0r, .- eneral, every [bodily]. e sort of life of ntly shared, with ng possibility, the [part of the soul r‘has reason” and “lyre.” thas two parts, whichhav obeying the reason [in r as itself having reason an city and as activity], an _ s special function to ood depends on its good. if we first For just as the sculptor, neral, for whatever tic] action, seems to s to be true an being has some 2. What sorts tjthings havejunctions? e leatherworker have us, may We likew we are looking for is t being; hence we sho__ sense-perception horse, on and :1 th ver, life is also spok, s to be calledlif functions besides all-- 4. The ho ' man good 15 activity expressing virtue (a) We have found then that is the S u ,H ' ' , ‘ , the human functi havmg (33,133: Iaptiovlitlye (:lllilprtezxpresses reason [as itsgff ‘eas - ' flpptgpieN'owl the function of F, :ngififozlf‘liydgisleik excellent 11:11 and, so we say, as the function of ,a: :13 true ”Mani-gt? an excellent harpist. (c) The same :‘the function t}: 1onally in every case, when we add to he Viflue. for e Superior achievement that expresses _ . ’ and}, Didalllpmt' 3 function, e.g., is to play the fake the ghum arpist s is to do it well. (d) Now f6 and take thighliigiriction to be a certain kind of _ that exprmq r e to be the soul’s activity and Keenan eason. (cl [Hence by (c) and (d)] D E 1:Iifan s functlon is to do this finely and .1. 011a; l:nction is completed well when its dy-(e) . p1 sses the proper virtue. (g) Therefore .- ._ an _ (1‘)] the human good turns out 5 actrvrty that expresses virtue. to be ood'must also be complete rebzp Eggnvmws than one, the good will . .- ost complete virtue. Moreover a complete hfe. For one swallow does nof Sg III-t0; does one day; nor, similarly, does __ . _ me make us blessed and happy. ' HARACTER 1N (lgéharacter .0. sorts, virtue of thought and vir- of thought arises and grows and hence needs experience aracter [i.e., of ethos] results : . its name “ethica ,“I slightly Anisr ' ‘ ' 011.}: o Virtue and Character 61 Virtue co mes about, not by a process of nature , but by habituation. Hence it is a} so clear that no . . - . ne of . actei arlses Hi us naturally the Virtues 0f Char" 1' . I’Vhar is natural . cannot be ch by habituation. angled For if s ' ' habitu‘rjlfit())r1rliethmg is 'by nature [in one condition] Stone 6 lpannot bring it into another condition A: afion,m.gi;1 y nature moves downwards and hab't you threu .not make it move upwards, not eve1 uf _, n " “or COUlC\itvhitbt'ip ten thousand times to habituate i bring a the :tuation make fire move downward 1 ’ ny mg that is b n ' S, or , atUI ' ' ' anather condition. y e in one condition Into Thus the virtu ' ' . . es arise in us neith a 11m . er b natur t139:1“s:mr(iialtu1e,hbut we are by nature abljd to achriii: , eac our complete perfection through habit 2. ' ' Natural CCIPCICIEIBS are not acquired Ely habituatirm, Further if someth' ' , mg arises in u b hav . . s y nature, ‘ fly entlliie-capamty for it, and later display thdv: if?“ no; ac :1 11: cigar in the case of the senses for wrfdvd ahead; ha: theem byhfrequent seeing or hearing biit . In w on we exercise , ' not \get them by exercising them d them, and dld irt . ‘ crafts :esilby'contrast, we acquire, just as we acquit learn ,a cyafpttpng prev1ously activated them For we must pmd y producmg the same product that we bufldfls sage 3hr: we have learned it becoming , . ., y uilding and h ' ’ the bar . c arpists b 1a ' actionsp ,t as; also, then, we become just by doiangbfjiilsgt b d . , perate by doing temperate acti y omg brave actions. OHS, brave 3. L ' regulators concentrate on habituation What goes on in . . _ . - Cities 15 evide . . the 1 Bee for this a] ing tiiihlatm makes the Citizens gOOd by h:;£0r he fails ti) (End-m“ 15 the wish of every legislator-ail . o it well he misses his goal. [The fight] 62 CHAPTERZ - MORALTHEt n is what makes the diffe habituatio d a bad one. good political system an 4. Virtue and vice are formed by good and the case of a craft, Further, just as in h virtue also ruin the harp makes bo analogous in the case of builders building well makes goodbuilders, ones. If it were not so, no teacher Wou everyone would be born a go It is the same, then, with the virtue dealings with [other] human ple just, some unjust; actions in terrifying sit some brave and others co of situations involving app or another sort of conduct in these si some people temperate and ate and irascible. etites and anger; bituation. ion:The Importance ofHa Conclus To sum up, then, in a single accou he repetition o acter] arises from [t Hence We must display ferences in these imply co the states. It is not unimportant, sort of habit or another, ri it is very important, indeed all— But our claims about habitu zle: How can we become the right act rresponding d )RY SELECTiONS rence between a bad actions. means that develop eac it. For playing th good and bad harpists, and it is and all the rest; for building badly, bad ld be needed, but od or a bad craftsman. s. For actions in beings make some peo— nations and the acquired habit of fear or confidence make wardly. The same is true for one tuations makes , gentle, others intemper- he mus nt'. A state [of Chara f] similar activities. chance or by following someone else’s instructions. To be a grammarian, then, we must both produce something grammatical and produce it in the way in produces it, i.e., expressing which the grammarian grammatical knowledge that is in us. Crafts versus Virtues. Second reply: 3 true of crafts is not 3 of a craft determine pro- ny case what i Moreover, in a the product true of virtues. For by their own character whether they have been duced well; and so it suffices that they are in the right state when they have been produced. But for actions expressing virtue to be justly [and hen themselves in ce well] it does n the right state. Ra also be in the right state when he doel must know [that he is doing v end he must decide on them, t also do them fro themselves; and, third, firm and unchanging state. As conditions for having a cr knowing itself. As a conditi count, except for the however, the knowing coun y a little, wher__ for having a virtue, ther] for onl for nothing, or [ra the other two conditions are very important, i two condition done temperately or ot suffice that they are - ' ther, the agent must-_-_' ivities, since dif- ifferences in then, to acquire one ght from our youth; rather, impottant.... ation raise a puz- good without being good all-important. And these other achieved by the ate actions. Hence actions do. But the just and te does th who [merely] frequent doing of jus they are the sort that a just or also does them in ' t and tern are called just or temp temperate person mperate person is notith ese actions, but the on the way in which just or tem already? However, someone might raise this puzzle “What people do them. become just we must It is right, then, to say that a person come in doing just actions and temperate f do you mean by saying that to first do just actions and first do temperate actions musicians. In the same way or temperate, we must already be j First reply: Conjormi But surely this is not s is possible to produce something gr to become temperate we must ‘2' For if we do what is gram- st already be grammarians or , then, if We do what is just ust or temperate.” ty versus understanding. 0 even with the crafts, for it aminatical by just fro temperate actio becoming good P The many, hOWever, do u take refuge. in at doing philosophy, an ns', for no one Virtue requires habituation, a ractice, not just theory. from failing to do them. nd their-gratel’fiq ot do thes _ guments, thinking. the d that this is the wa crate __w_ excellent peg - 1316- In this thg . . - who lis . Y die like a sick of his £1652: lattentively t0 the doctor, but acts oieilrsion not impmv (Eons. Such a course of treatment will the inany’ e 6 State Of his body; any 1130113 than w'l] S Way Of doiii ' . 1 state of their souls. g Philomphy improve the A STATE INTERMEDIATE BETWEEN TWO EXTREMES . D INVOLVING DECISION, gs, capacities state . .,. )5. Next we in ' nu 1 ust exam Be :1: .131n1ce there are three conditions all? . _- ui'celings, ca a " .- must be one of these. P 01333 and StateSi eelm ' _ gjs) I inean appetite, anger fear confi , y, ove hate, ion ' '1 , h .- _ . . . , ' ging, jealous ' al f:lzllz'itever implies pleasure or pain y, 1311335 61:: I meljm what we have when we are eo t ese feelings . . . —ca abl ' ry r. afraid or feeling pity. P e or, egg épug-1 what we have when we are Well a ion to feelings If .. .. . ,e.g.,ourfe Ji 0 la 6 n is" :k, we are badly off in relation t5 ___in ermediate, we are well off' and the other cases. , EXCE?S nor Vices are feelings. (a) . eat or base in so far as we es, not in so far as we have feel- f1' praised nor blamed in so far 8:32:31: not praise the angry .. , c not blame the per- 13 y‘:abutB only the person who Hy. . ut we are praised or ave Virtues or vices. (c) We put decision; but the virtues ARIST ‘ ' 0TH; - Virtue and Character 63 are decisions ‘ . Oi some kl - nd 01- [r th . Sion. d B ' - , ’ a 31’] re uire d '_ are saddle Sides: 111 SD tar as we have 'feilingq 6C] or Vices mOVed; but in so far as we have v: smWB , We are said t . ‘ 1r es ' 0 be . . than moved. In some condltlon rather Or a capacity , .. F 01‘ these r . 63.30115; the Virt either; . , L165 are not Ca ‘ bad in :Sff we are neither called g00d nofigiltlieg Further wlliilleaivji are Simp 1y Capable of feeling: 5 ave Capaciti - . nm b es by natur c ecolne good or bad by Dature- e, We F10 ussed thIS before. , We haw,- dis- BUF a state If, then th ' ities the :evntues are neither feelings nor ca ac States And pillaging! possibility is that theyparf; . ' * e a - Virtue 13, V6 said What the genus of The Differentia But we must . 533’ not only as W 13 a , e alread h - state, but also what sort of state it is?i 3V6, that H V' irtue and the Human Function It should be said then that US -, , every virtue ' ' ' Ifjun:::q:;;:j1lfhm a good state and to perfdlrlilrsietlidi: and their film;- evn‘tue of eyes, e.g., makes the eyes see wen; and Sigifiipg excellent, because it makes us the horse exec“ arly, the Virtue of a horse makes at €81.14),ng m gut, and thereby good at gallopin of the enem , r11f er and at standing steady in the fad: Virtue Ofah 1ym‘mtliiis is true in every case, then the makes a human beiZing Will likewise be the state that his function wen. _ - . g good and makes him perform N 1‘ M H at. 11-19 [“116 ECG] 3t} and the 11430“ llel ”‘3 to US In BVBIyflllng CU “1111130118 and dl‘rlSlble We C6111 take 111016, “398 and equal, alltl edch 0‘1 thelll Ethel l“. the MORAL THEORY SELECTIONS much and too little, and in both ways not well; but " ' , about the [having these feelings right things, towards the right peop , end, and in the right way, is the intermediate and condition, and this is proper to virtue. Similarly excess, deficiency and the 64 CHAPTER 2 - to us', and the equal is some object itself or relative cess and deficiency. intermediate between ex By the intermediate in the object I mean what is equidistant from each extremity; this is one and the same for everyone. But relative to us the intermediate best is what is neither superfluous nor deficient; this is not ' one, and is not the same for everyone. If, e.g., ten are many and two are few, we take six as intermediate in the object, since it exceeds [two] and is exceeded [by ten] by an equal amount, [four]; this is what is intermediate by numerical proportion. But;- that is not how We must take the intermediate that is relative to us. For if, e.g., ten pounds [of food] are a lot for someone to eat, and two pounds alittle, it does not follow that the trainer will prescribe six, since this might also be either a little or a lot for the person who is to take itifor Milo [the athlete] a little, but for the beginner in gymnastics a lot; and the same is true for running wrestling. In this way every scientific expert ency an and d seeks and chooses avoids excess and defici what is intermediater—but intermediate relative to us, not in the object. Now virtueis concerne in which excess and deficiency ar blame, while the intermediate con and wins praise, which are both proper feature virtue. Virtue, then, is a mean, in so far as i what is i...
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