Nicomachean ethics book 2 argument

Now neither the virtues nor the vices are passions, because we are not called good or bad on the ground of our passions, but are so called on the ground of our virtues and our vices, and because we are neither praised nor blamed for our passions for the man who feels fear or anger is not praised, nor is the man who simply feels anger blamed, but the man who feels it in a certain waybut for our virtues and our vices we are praised or blamed.

For instance, we ourselves tend more naturally to pleasures, and hence are more easily carried away towards self-indulgence than towards propriety. Thus a master of any art avoids excess and defect, but seeks the intermediate and chooses this- the intermediate not in the object but relatively to us.

And yet it is scarce likely that the professors of the several arts and sciences should not know, nor even look for, what would help them so much. The defining nature of pleasure is that it is an activity that accompanies other activities, and in some sense brings them to completion.

The best Nicomachean ethics book 2 argument is the one adopted by the philosopher; the second-best is the one adopted by the political leader. Intellectual virtues are in turn divided into two sorts: No one would call a man just who did not Edition: Rather, his point is that there is no way of telling what is genuinely pleasurable and therefore what is most pleasurable unless we already have some other standard of value.

According to this opinion, which he says is right, the good things associated with the soul are most governing and especially good, when compared to the good things of the body, or good external things. Because each of the two papyrus rolls into which it is divided is unusually long. When egoism takes this abstract form, it is an expression of the idea that the claims of others are never worth attending to, unless in some way or other their good can be shown to serve one's own.

Aristotle's Ethics

The Gods are thereby made Nicomachean ethics book 2 argument by being made relative to man; and this happens because, as we said, a thing can only be praised in relation to something else. What then is the good in each of these cases? But if one chooses instead the life of a philosopher, then one will look to a different standard—the fullest expression of theoretical wisdom—and one will need a smaller supply of these resources.

Of what is just in distribution, and its rule of geometrical proportion Defective states of character are hexeis plural of hexis as well, but they are tendencies to have inappropriate feelings.

But the intermediate point that is chosen by an expert in any of the crafts will vary from one situation to another. Though Aristotle lists a number of virtues, he sees them all as coming from the same source. One can show, as a general point, that happiness consists in exercising some skills or other, but that the moral skills of a virtuous person are what one needs is not a proposition that can be established on the basis of argument.

At present we are giving a mere outline or summary, and are satisfied with this; later these states will be more exactly determined.

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And this agrees with what we said at starting. Perhaps a greater difficulty can be raised if we ask how Aristotle determines which emotions are governed by the doctrine of the mean. We learn an art by doing that which we wish to do when we have learned it; we become builders by building, and harpers by harping.


And if it is what a man does that determines the character of his life, as we said, then no happy man will become miserable; for he will never do what is hateful and base. It is not like in the productive arts, where the thing being made is what is judged as well made or not. This point is developed more fully in Ethics X.

Aristotle's search for the good is a search for the highest good, and he assumes that the highest good, whatever it turns out to be, has three characteristics: If happiness is virtue, or a certain virtue, then it must not just be a condition of being virtuous, potentially, but an actual way of virtuously " being at work " as a human.

Aristotle's Ethics

Then, when we engage in ethical inquiry, we can ask what it is about these activities that makes them worthwhile. Saying that courage is a mean between rashness and cowardice does not mean that courage stands exactly in between these two extremes, nor does it mean that courage is the same for all people.

The pleasure of drawing, for example, requires both the development of drawing ability and an object of attention that is worth drawing. Therefore virtue is a kind of mean, since, as we have seen, it aims at what is intermediate.

But the intermediate relatively to us is not to be taken so; if ten pounds are too much for a particular person to eat and two too little, it does not follow that the trainer will order six pounds; for this also is perhaps too much for the person who is to take it, or too little- too little for Milo, too much for the beginner in athletic exercises.

Aristotle accepted that it would be wrong to call Priam unhappy only because his last years were unhappy. Nonetheless, an excellent juror can be described as someone who, in trying to arrive at the correct decision, seeks to express the right degree of concern for all relevant considerations.

Bodily pleasures not the Nicomachean ethics book 2 argument pleasures Those who wish good things to their friends for the sake of the latter are friends most of all, because they do so because of their friends themselves, and not coincidentally. Evidently Aristotle believes that his own life and that of his philosophical friends was the best available to a human being.

So [by their own showing] there cannot be one common idea of these goods. Men agree that the good is happiness, but differ as to what this is. But the good is something that cannot be improved upon in this way.

For the habit or faculty may be present, and yet issue in no good result, as when a man is asleep, or in any other way hindered from his function; but with its exercise this is not possible, for it must show itself in acts and in good acts.

When he makes friends, and benefits friends he has made, he will be aware of the fact that such a relationship is good for him. It is not possible, then, ever to be right with regard to them; one must always be wrong.Book II 1 Virtue, then, being of two kinds, intellectual and moral, intellectual virtue in the main owes both its birth and its growth to teaching (for which reason it requires experience and time), while moral virtue comes about as a result of habit, whence also its name (ethike) is one that is formed by a slight variation from the word ethos.

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.

In Levels of Argument, Dominic Scott compares the Republic and Nicomachean Ethics from a methodological perspective. In the first half he argues that the Republic distinguishes between two levels of argument in the defence of justice, the 'longer' and 'shorter' routes.

The longer is the ideal and aims at maximum precision, requiring knowledge of the Forms and a definition of the Dominic Scott. Aristotle discusses pleasure in two separate parts of the Nicomachean Ethics (book 7 chapters and book 10 chapters ).

Plato had discussed similar themes in several dialogues, including the Republic and the Philebus and Gorgias. 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).

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 .

Nicomachean ethics book 2 argument
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