Nicomachean Ethics Essay

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Nicomachean Ethics: Understanding the good according to Aristotle In Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, he discusses the principles of virtue, choices and a desire for an end. In the 5th chapter of book 3, Aristotle gives a possible argument of someone who objects to his beliefs “But someone might argue as follows: ‘All Men seek what appears good to them, but they have no control over how things appear to them; the end appears different to different men” (1114b). Based on the objector’s generalization, he or she believes that all men strive to find the ultimate good, but they don't have the freedom or the wisdom to see things for what they truly are. People aim to act based on what is good to them, but what seems good to them is something that is out of their control. Either through their genetic nature, or the environment around them and the nurture they have received, they are incapable of changing their definition of good. If people are not in control of how they see things, what role does ethics play in our world. Are people responsible for things out of their control? In book 6 Aristotle examines and counters the critique he mentions in book 3. He addresses the argument that people pursue what they believe to be good, but lack control over how the good appears to them, because the end is different based on the individual person. Aristotle successfully invalidates the objection that men do not have control over how things appear to them, and he writes an interesting discussion that credits wisdom and the capacity to change as key characteristics that allow a person to make their own choices. Aristotle formulates a discussion of theoretical and practical wisdom and the role they both play in how things appear to humans. Pra... ... middle of paper ... ...se they have been so deeply ingrained into that person’s understanding of the good. It is important to understand that some people are more susceptible to having certain characteristics. Cleanliness, creativeness, and shyness are all characteristics that could affect how a person views the good. These characteristics are also formed at a young age and somewhat inherited, and difficult to change. However, character is ultimately determined by oneself. Humans make choices every day about how the good influences their lives. Aristotle was very thorough in making his claims about the appearance and definition of good. He included a possible critique about humans lacking control over the good which he was able to refute and use to strengthen his argument that people can control how things appear to them and do have the ability to change their desires and ultimate ends.
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