Nicomachean ethics book 2 argument

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But some of these are chosen only as means, as wealth, flutes, and the whole class of instruments. Theoria is not the process of learning that leads to understanding; that process is not a candidate for our ultimate end, because it is undertaken for the sake of a further goal.

Aristotle explains what each of these states of mind is, draws various contrasts among them, and takes up various questions that can be raised about their usefulness. One may well ask why this kind of close friendship is necessary for happiness.

Moral virtue is acquired by the repetition of the corresponding acts. By passions I mean appetite, anger, fear, confidence, envy, joy, friendly feeling, hatred, longing, emulation, pity, and in general the feelings that are accompanied by pleasure or pain; by faculties the things in virtue of which we are said to be capable of feeling these, e.

We assume, then, that this kind of excellence tends to do what is best with regard to pleasures and pains, and vice does the contrary. But we will not dwell on these matters now, for they are sufficiently discussed in the popular treatises. Actions, then, are called just and temperate when they are such as the just or the temperate man would do; but it is not the man who does these that is just and temperate, but the man who also does them as just and temperate men do them.

Although it really is a pleasure and so something can be said in its favor, it is so inferior to other goods that ideally one ought to forego it. And so by doing just acts we become just, and by doing acts of temperance and courage we become temperate and courageous. With regard to pleasures and pains- not all of them, and not so much with regard to the pains- the mean is temperance, the excess self-indulgence.

From this it is also plain that none of the moral virtues arises in us by nature; for nothing that exists by nature can form a habit contrary to its nature. Amusements will not be absent from a happy life, since everyone needs relaxation, and amusements fill this need. To say that there is something better even than ethical activity, and that ethical activity promotes this higher goal, is entirely compatible with everything else that we find in the Ethics.

Not all of the Eudemian Ethics was revised: As he himself points out, one traditional conception of happiness identifies it with virtue b30—1. As the latter will not be made well in body by such a course of treatment, the former will not be made well in soul by such a course of philosophy.

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So too is it with the virtues; by abstaining from pleasures we become temperate, and it is when we have become so that we are most able to abstain from them; and similarly too in the case of courage; for by being habituated to despise things that are terrible and to stand our ground against them we become brave, and it is when we have become so that we shall be most able to stand our ground against them.

One of his reasons for thinking that such a life is superior to the second-best kind of life—that of a political leader, someone who devotes himself to the exercise of practical rather than theoretical wisdom—is that it requires less external equipment a23—b7. One may well ask why this kind of close friendship is necessary for happiness.

Therefore for this reason also the whole concern both of virtue and of political science is with pleasures and pains; for the man who uses these well will be good, he who uses them badly bad.

Aristotle makes this point in several of his works see for example De Anima a23—b7and in Ethics X. No citizen, he says, belongs to himself; all belong to the city a28—9. At first, Aristotle leaves open the first of these two possibilities.

And he clearly indicates that it is possible for an akratic person to be defeated by a weak pathos—the kind that most people would easily be able to control a9—b Practical reasoning always presupposes that one has some end, some goal one is trying to achieve; and the task of reasoning is to determine how that goal is to be accomplished.

Do I raven, do I snatch the morsels from the dish and wolf them down, impervious to the consternation of my colleagues? Aristotle does not elaborate on what a natural state is, but he obviously has in mind the healthy condition of the body, especially its sense faculties, and the virtuous condition of the soul.

For he thinks that this kind of friendship can exist only when one spends a great deal of time with the other person, participating in joint activities and engaging in mutually beneficial behavior; and one cannot cooperate on these close terms with every member of the political community.

At the time of action, the impetuous person experiences no internal conflict. In both the akratic and the enkratic, it competes with reason for control over action; even when reason wins, it faces the difficult task of having to struggle with an internal rival.

Aristotle's Ethics

But perhaps Aristotle disagrees, and refuses to accept this argumentative burden. In discussing the various intellectual virtues, Aristotle extols wisdom as the highest, since it deals only with unchanging, universal truths and rests on a synthesis of scientific investigation and the intuitive understanding of the first principles of nature.

Aristotle does not mean to suggest that unequal relations based on the mutual recognition of good character are defective in these same ways.Nov 28,  · Here, we go through a brief summary, and my argument on Aristotle's "Ethics," Book II.

Virtue, Courage, the Perfect Balance of Character Traits, and The Nature of. Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics study guide contains a biography of Aristotle, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

Nicomachean Ethics Book 2 Argument Aristotle’s Interpretation of Ethical Virtues “An ethical virtue is a habit, disposed towards action, by deliberate choice, being at the mean relative to us, and defined by reason and as a prudent man would define it” (The Nicomachean Ethics, Book Beta, a).

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Aristotle's Ethics

Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics study guide contains a biography of Aristotle, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

Have you read any other sections, chapters, or books of the Nicomachean Ethics or are you just reading that one chapter? As /u/AznTiger says, without more information, there are too many arguments in that book (and the other books) to give a meaningful answer.

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Nicomachean ethics book 2 argument
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