Aristotle's Views On Virtue

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For many years the writings of Aristotle have been translated and dissected by intellectuals from around the globe. Our textbook that we use in class also includes his ethical views because of how well known he is even though he lived around the time of 300 BC. Aristotle is among most notable and recognizable philosophers that are still being talked about to this day. For this epistolary essay, I want to discuss the views Aristotle had on habit, the mean, and the noble as told from the point of view of Joe Sachs, the writer of this particular entry, who inserts his opinion from time to time. Sachs first talks about Aristotle’s views on habit and how through habit people can become morally virtuous. There is one clear problem that Sachs …show more content…

For example, Sachs brings up the idea of sheep dogs and how they have to be the perfect distance away from the sheep, not too close and not too far, so that the sheep follow the dogs’ lead but don’t get scared and scatter. Pursuing the mean between two extremes allows sheep dogs to herd their flock easily; much like pursuing the mean in your life would allow you to live easily. In this pursuit of the mean, you become more virtuous because “moral virtue is always in its own nature a mean condition” (Sachs). However, Sachs says there is a difference in everyone in finding their own personal means, there is no set standard for everyone in the world to look to for guidance. People have different struggles and therefore different means. In addition, if there is a constant struggle between too little or too much indulgence then the anxiety caused by that struggle restricts them from becoming morally virtuous. “Virtue is a mean, first because it can only emerge out of the stand-off between opposite habits, but second because it chooses to take its stand not in either of those habits but between them” (Sachs). Finally defining why virtue is a mean Sachs tells us, there is still the need for a person to be in total control over their body in both the habit and mean for them to be considered truly virtuous. Having control clears our minds to see what’s ahead of us and choose proper actions to take. But why should people want to habitually pursue the

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