An argument against aristotles definition of virtue

Aristotle's Ethics

We thus have these four forms of akrasia: It should be obvious to anyone that excellence in horsemanship cannot be learned simply by reading about horsemanship and hearing reasoned arguments for how best to handle a horse. Virtue theory was inserted into the study of history by moralistic historians such as LivyPlutarchand Tacitus.

There is no reason to attribute this extreme form of egoism to Aristotle. Since different people, cultures and societies often have different opinions on what constitutes a virtue, perhaps there is no one objectively right list.

He cites and endorses an argument given by Plato in the Philebus: It should be noticed that all three of these deficiencies—continence, incontinence, vice—involve some lack of internal harmony. That means that ideas about justice and rights either have no validity or can actually be reinterpreted and given an arguably firmer justification in terms of what we originally regarded as the opposed notion of caring.

The difficult and controversial question arises when we ask whether certain of these goods are more desirable than others. Still others argue that it is possible to base a judicial system on the moral notion of virtues rather than rules.

If one lived in a community filled with good people, and cooperated on an occasional basis with each of them, in a spirit of good will and admiration, would that not provide sufficient scope for virtuous activity and a well-lived life?

As he himself points out, one traditional conception of happiness identifies it with virtue b30—1. As stated before, deontology focuses on adhering to ethical duties, while consequentialism focuses on the outcomes consequences of actions.

He also tries to delineate classes of happiness, some being preferable to others, but there is a great deal of difficulty in classifying such concepts.


The Doctrine of the Mean 5. Why should we experience anger at all, or fear, or the degree of concern for wealth and honor that Aristotle commends?

Martha Nussbaum and Amartya Sen have employed virtue theory in theorising the capability approach to international development. All our activities aim at some end, though most of these ends are means toward other ends.

For more information on deontological ethics refer to the work of Immanuel Kant. His point, rather, may be that in ethics, as in any other study, we cannot make progress towards understanding why things are as they are unless we begin with certain assumptions about what is the case.

Book VII makes the point that pleasures interfere with each other, and so even if all kinds of pleasures are good, it does not follow that all of them are worth choosing.

Virtue ethics

He compares it to the life of a god: His goal in the Ethics is not to tell us that we ought to live happy, successful lives, but to tell us what this life consists of.Aristotle’s argument, which I will present in more detail in the next section, is a descendant of one offered by Plato at the end of the first book of the Republic established that justice is the virtue of the soul, Plato concludes that the just soul lives well, and therefore is blessed and happy, while an unjust one lives.

In Nicomachean EthicsAristotle claims that to discover the human good we must identify the function of a human being. He argues that the human function is rational activity.

Our good is therefore rational activity performed well, which Aristotle takes to mean in accordance with virtue.

This argument has been criticized at almost every point. Themes, Ideas & Arguments Virtue and Happiness. This is hardly a digression from the main line of argument.

Justice as a Virtue

Happiness, according to Aristotle, is a public affair, not a private one, so with whom we share this happiness is of great significance.

What are some good, original arguments against virtue ethics? Update Cancel. ad by Lendio. What arguments can you make against virtue based Aristotelian ethics?

Ask New Question. Nathan Ketsdever, lover, fighter, What is a good argument against hedonism? What are virtue ethics in philosophy?

Aristotle's Function Argument

Aristotle’s function argument EUDAIMONIA AND FUNCTION In Bk 1 of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle defines eudaimonia (living well) Virtue: to simply possess virtue is not enough; eudaimonia requires that one acts on it as well. The employment of good qualities and the.

Virtue theory tells us to exhibit virtues, to act as the virtuous person would act, but if we don’t already know that it is difficult to work out. What, for instance, is the virtuous stance to take on the issue of stem-cell research, or abortion?

An argument against aristotles definition of virtue
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