his hypocrisy involving moderation and letting his excesses run away with him, he was heard to remark that “I believe in moderation in all things, including moderation…” Amusing, and apt for the concept of virtue, as no matter how many people agree on notions of virtuous behavior, doesn’t mean it is a universal virtue, much as it is vice. Virtue isn’t better than vice, it is just different, and this gives us insight in Aristotle.Eudemonia refers to happiness achieved through the living of a rational life, which brings us to Aristotle more specifically. The ancient Greek philosopher spoke of how virtues such as knowledge and intelligence do not necessarily lead to happiness, nor can we reconcile such via the theory of Forms, so it is left to the ethics of virtue to give us a window. The Golden Mean is the paragon of the principle of Aristotelian logic, and speaks to the seeking of a constant middle ground between deficiency and violent excess. The goal of the mean is inherent, as we should seek equilibrium; too much and too little are both wrong, and a balance of both “the mean” is the ideal existence and for the reasoned individual, a modus operandi.
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- Fall '08