February 7 - February 7, 2008 I Virtues (excellence)...

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February 7, 2008 I Virtues (excellence) Doctrine of the Mean; virtue ethics. Purpose of book II –the distinction between the two kinds of virtues, or excellences. B Intellectual i The rational part of the soul. ii How do we acquire virtues? Training learning. C Moral (character) –virtues of character, of the individual as a thinking, feeling, acting being. i Irrational part of the soul. The good life, the life of eudemonia, is a life of rationality, since rationality is the most distinctive human quality. Why would virtues, being so critical, be classified this way? The mystery vanishes if you keep in mind that reason, being the most distinctive human capacity, ought to play the primary role in every aspect of one’s life –that means that this talk of the soul will direct the individual in the acquisition and expression of virtues of thinking, but also supposed to direct the irrational part, and indirectly direct one’s moral character. The virtues of thinking well is critical to living the good life. ii How do we acquire virtues? Habituation, rote learning –does not mean its an entire matter of habit. The good life needs the virtues, no one can live the good life who lacks both virtues, and who lacks success in the practical way –habit and reason are incompatible reason involves the act of understanding, evaluating, inferring, etc. Habit is repetitive and mechanical. . –so why habituation? a We repeat good acts by conscious imitation, so eventually we internalize the action –initiated by one’s parents. Acquired reflex, “second nature.” This is morality. 1
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February 7 - February 7, 2008 I Virtues (excellence)...

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