Aristotle’s teachings were stressed on moderation in government and in life. The importance of human character lead to his interpretation of happiness and a perfect society. Since a state would not be without habitants, it is fair to state that a societies happiness is achieved once the citizens have done the same. To Aristotle this is essential to the main point he makes in his teachings. He stresses that a model citizen illustrates the moral virtues of intelligence, and courage.# Developing this type of character as Aristotle states as “ human excellence” is an action of the soul for he believes it is the soul that is the bases of human individuality.# The idea becomes parallel on a political level for the citizens are the bases of a state.
Plato had typical views of ethics for an ancient Greek. Aristotle shared these views he was more specific about ethics and the path to happiness. Plato and Aristotle both believed that a good person choose morally sound choices because of their reason and good character. A person who follows their good character and reason instead of trying to avoid consequences is a virtuous person. Aristotle believed “virtue is a matter of developing the unique ability to reason.”(Pacquette 268) Being virtuous to Plato and Aristotle also meant, “doing things- no matter what these things were- in a way that reflected rational thought and involved making the best of one’s skills, talents and opportunities.” (Pacquette 268) Aristotle and Plato both agreed that a person’s good moral character and reason guided their ethical choices.
To be good is good but it has to be done for the right reason. Aristotle and Kant are two famous philosophers who have different ethical theories. The theory’s of virtue and duties rest not only on laws and obligations but from what comes from the inside. Morality comes from inner strength, character and how we live our life to the best end. Aristole 384-322 b.c.e.
His greatest known works are the Athenian Constitution and Nicomachean Ethics. Aristotle’s works of Ethics explore a vast area of topics. He states, “The goal of the Ethics is to determine how best to achieve happiness.” In order to achieve happiness, one must live a virtuous life, in the mind of Aristotle. Interest is sparked in this area that Aristotle writes of because there is a natural need for Ethics in human life. John K. Roth states, “Aristotle assumes that all things, human beings included, have a good, a purpose or end, which it is their nature to fulfill”.
2 Ch. 29). He is saying there is a type of personal contract with yourself that is your right to decide what is right and what is wrong. The bottom line is that a good government is essential to rid a state of fear and to regulate the groups that people form in order to survive. There are many similarities between Plato’s The Republic and Hobbes’ Leviathan; however, the main similarity between the two is that both Plato and Hobbes agree that a form of sovereignty is necessary, both of their basic reasons being based on their views of human nature.
Aristotle: His Messages of Virtue and Moderation in Politics Aristotle (b. 384 - d. 322 BC), was a Greek philosopher, logician, and scientist. Along with his teacher Plato, Aristotle is generally regarded as one of the most influential ancient thinkers in a number of philosophical fields, including political theory. Aristotle was born in Stagira in northern Greece, and his father was a court physician to the king of Macedon. As a young man he studied in Plato's Academy in Athens.
Philosophers have tussled over the nature of the concepts of morality and virtue, where they stem from as well as their true meanings. Some philosophers believe that our moral and ethical beliefs stem from what we are taught by society based on rational acceptance of proper decisions, whereas others oppose saying that our morals and ethical beliefs belong to our soul alone and it is learned from within, rather than being taught by one’s society. One of Aristotle’s most influential works, Nicomachean Ethics, lays claim that there is an actual, material definition of what happiness is and ways one may possibly attain the greatest good in life, which is ultimately to be happy. Furthermore, Aristotle distinguishes that there is a difference between higher and lower pleasures that one ought to seek in life. He believed that the highest good one has the possibility of achieving is grasping true virtue.
They disagreed, however, on whether or not leaders were born with inherent qualities, or if these qualities depend solely on education. They also disagreed about whether or not a strict separation between leaders and followers is required, and what form of government the best State should take. Plato was the student of another great Athenian thinker, Socrates, and he used him as a mouthpiece throughout his dialogs to examine philosophical concepts (Wren, 1995). One of the most important concepts that Plato defines is justice, and it is in this analysis where we find most of his thoughts on leadership. For Plato, like many Greeks of his day, the individual was subordinate to the state.
Aristotle's Doctrine of the Mean When we consider the questions of how we ought to live our lives, we often seek for some schematic that we can employ to help us categorize actions or qualities as good, bad, or indifferent. Such a means of organization would indeed make it easier to determine what the right thing to do is. Aristotle once attempted to formulate a similar plan. His ethics used a scheme by which characteristics could be measured and the right amount attained. Such an account is known as the doctrine of the mean.
What is the ideal state? This question has sparked debate since the very formation of organized political society. In Plato’s The Republic, Plato seeks to define justice and in doing so he seeks to explain the ideal just state. In Plato’s explanation of an ideal state, there is an extreme emphasis on unity and harmony. The reason unity and harmony are so important to Plato are because they are responsible for bonding together Plato’s ideal state and protecting it from tyranny.