Moderation In Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics

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The concept of moderation and its importance throughout Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and Thomas Aquinas’ The Virtues, is heavily contrasted with the intensity displayed within Baudelaire's poem Get Drunk, and the documentary Amy. Within these four works, it is clear that not only do the concepts of intensity and moderation contradict, but the varying methods and effects of the two within each group contradict as well. In Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics the idea of moderation is portrayed through temperance which stems from self control. Aristotle defines this self control as a virtue and states that “For abstaining from pleasures makes us become temperate, and once we have become temperate we are most capable of abstaining from pleasures”…show more content…
In his work The Virtues Aquinas states that virtue is nothing more than a person’s good use of free will(655). This holding for Aquinas stems from his Christian belief that God gives everyone free will and it is up to each individual to choose whether or not they will follow him. Nevertheless, the best way to put your free will to good use is to practice self control.THrough self control one is able to abstain from things like excessive drinking and desires of the lower half of the body. With continual self control one is able to one is able to have the discipline necessary to create what Aquinas calls and operative habit, and just like Aristotle, these habits are seen as virtues(656). It is imperative that one continually avoid human desires because they are merely the vices that prevent one from learning about God, and the “good news”(Roth). For Aquinas, knowledge of God and the good is considered one of the highest forms of virtue, because this knowledge of God is wisdom, and wisdom is concerned with all things, and considers the highest cause (673). However, there is in an important distinction between this wisdom, and that of what is considered earthly wisdom. In the book of Christians within the bible it says that “God will “will destroy the wisdom of the wise” and thwart “the discernment of the discerning”. Therefore it is not enough to be wise about matters of the earth for they will be…show more content…
For Blaudiere ecstasy comes from the indulgence of whatever makes one feel drunk or free: whether it be wine, poetry, or virtue(5). For Blaudiere there is no such thing as a virtuous state, rather virtue, and or vice is a tool used for indulgence through intensity. It is in these moments of intensity that Blaudire feels as if one is liberated from what is holding them down and causing them to be “martyred slaves of time”(15). This is because in these moments of intense indulgence one is able to lose themselves in a way that allows them to fall into a childlike state. It is in these moments that one is able to see the world in a state of newness(8). This newness allows for one to then see their world in a new light and find themselves within. Similarly to that of romanticism, one is able to find themselves by losing themselves with intense indulgence. Nevertheless, Baudelaire asserts that one should always be drunk to avoid the burden of time(2), but he never addresses the fact that this absence of reality will eventually become his new reality. This in effect, means that one’s level of indulgence will constantly have to be intensified, as one builds up greater tolerance, which ultimately can become a dangerous paradox that leads to complete
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