For Aristotle, he used the Golden Mean, in every situation which he found to be two vices with mean in the middle. For example, as discussed in class, two vices are cheap and wasteful, the mean being generosity, is the way to live by. “It should be said, then that every virtue causes its possessors to be in a good state and to perform their functions well”. (Aristotle II, 6) Aristotle wants people to live a life of balance and temperance to have a fulfilling and happy life, which he defines as, happiness is the activity of the soul in accordance with virtue. He does make it a point to say that we can’t just be taught in school how to be moral but rather it’s a choice that you have to practice on. Aristotle believes no one is born evil or good, it’s about the choices one makes and the values they live by that define one’s character. However, one cannot live a life, deciding when to be a morally good person and when to make bad decisions. Just because a wicked man does good deeds sometimes, doesn’t make them virtuous, and a virtuous person can’t make bad decisions and still be virtuous, it’s all or nothing. Per Aristotle, the way that this is done is by the practice of balance. Practice leads to habit, habit leads to good character, which leads to the life of study, and that is the end goal. He states that the ethics aren’t the precise and general laws for the way to live, but that people need to take each matter case by case with virtue and wisdom. To achieve ultimate happiness, Aristotle talks about the relationships people gain. The only way to achieve total happiness is when it is a public affair and not a private one. Who individuals share it with becomes a huge component. There are three types of friends; the utility, ...
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...to Kant in the way of doing good for goodness sake, not consequentialists and the duty to keep your words and the absolute duty for Kant to keep promises.
After reading each philosophers’ views, I have concluded that I agree with Aristotle the most. His views on friendship are very like mine, however I do believe some friendships can start as a utility or pleasure, and then can grow very much from there and turn into something genuine. I do agree that true friends are hard to come by and that it is reckless to allow too many people to know the most intimate parts about you. Virtues and ethics can be learned through practice and while outside influence may have some impact, it is ultimately to you. Once someone decides what they believe is morally right or not, that starts affecting their decision making Everyone decides for themselves the right kind of life to live.
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