Final Exam Review 3

Final Exam Review 3 - 2. At the outset of the Nicomachean...

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2. At the outset of the Nicomachean Ethics it would appear that Aristotle's account of the optimal human life is applicable to every person, qua rational being. But by the time we have finished the discussion of the specific virtues in Book IV it seems clear that the theory was intended to apply only to wealthy and politically well-connected Greek males. Explain how this feature of Aristotle's account might be considered either a strength or a weakness, depending on the job his theory is expected to do. In Book II of the Ethics, Aristotle begins by describing two sorts of virtue, one of thought and one of character. V of T comes from teaching and needs experience and time while V of C is a habit, thus not arising naturally. By nature we are able to acquire virtue by training and behaving in the right way, just like a musician. With our actions, there must be a mean between a excess and the deficiency or else the virtue will be ruined. For example, the great soul, megalopsychia , is the mean between humility and empty vanity. One must remember, however, the mean is in proportion to a particular person i.e. a glutton feels pleasure with food, and pain without it, where the temperate person, does not need that food and will feel pleasure in abstaining from it. From this, pain and pleasure are habits concerned with virtue i.e. he is brave is he does not find something painful, but pleasurable and a coward if he find something painful. Now, virtue is a state, because it is not a feeling (like hungry) or a capacities (like being angry), but it is how bad or well in relation to our feelings. So by the end of book II, Virtue is a state that
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This note was uploaded on 05/31/2011 for the course PHIL 210 taught by Professor Rheins during the Spring '11 term at UNC.

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Final Exam Review 3 - 2. At the outset of the Nicomachean...

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