Aristotle 's Theory On Virtue Ethics Essays

Aristotle 's Theory On Virtue Ethics Essays

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Ancient Greece philosopher Aristotle has had much influence of Western thought as we know it today. At the core of his thinking was the concept that man’s potential to lead a virtuous life is grounded in human nature. Aristotle’s contributions to philosophy in the branch of ethics explored a variety of long pondered issues, including the function of a human being and the acquisition of virtue. The final result of his work is commonly referred to as Virtue Theory in modern philosophy. As a young woman on the brink of major life decisions (including what career to pursue and what type of life I should lead), I found Aristotle’s theory on virtue ethics to be both intriguing and of great use for someone in my position who is asking the very questions that Aristotle himself contemplated during his lifetime.
In his Virtue Theory, Aristotle first establishes that the foundation of his theory rests upon fundamental human nature and man’s ability to reason when moral questions. This theory is a practical one, focusing on how we can develop a virtuous character, rather than emphasizing moral principles. Virtue Theory in turn addresses two ethical questions: (1) What sort of person should I be? and (2) What sort of life should I live? Additionally, Aristotle’s theory seeks to understand our strengths and weaknesses as human beings, exploring our moral character.
The highest good to which all human activity is directed towards is happiness, according to Aristotle. In order to attain this happiness, one must lead a virtuous life. A virtuous life can be lead by each human being, so long as one fulfills the natural function of the capabilities innate within all people. This natural function is the ability to reason. For Aristotle, the intelle...


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...ghest good of human activity: happiness. While others desire may money, power, love or reputation in this lifetime (whether they are willing to admit that or not is another matter entirely), the desire for happiness drives my life. My heart craves happiness, regardless of what such an elusive term entails. According to Aristotle, I will be seeking happiness if I were to lead a virtuous life. I plan to do such a thing as I continue into my adult life.
Aristotle’s work has been responsible for the construction of virtue ethics in the field of philosophy, specifically with his Virtue Theory. His conclusions on how one should live so that one works towards happiness have not only influenced modern Western thought, but also my own personal thinking. His theory will be extremely applicable to my situation as I ponder major decisions that will alter the course of my life.

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