Why Aristotle 's Virtue Ethics Essay

Why Aristotle 's Virtue Ethics Essay

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Explaining Aristotle 's Virtue Ethics
In Aristotle 's Nicomachean Ethics, the basic idea of virtue ethics is established. The most important points are that every action and decision that humans make is aimed at achieving the good or as Aristotle 's writes, “Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, is thought to aim at the good... (Aristotle 1094a). Aristotle further explains that this good aimed for is happiness.
For Aristotle, happiness is defined as “an activity of soul in accordance with complete excellence... (Aristotle 1102a). This means that actions exercised through, and guided by, human virtues turns out to be a good that is an “... activity of soul in conformity to excellence...” (Aristotle 1098b). Therefore, the characteristic allowing a person to perform well is virtue. To further explain this concept you can use the example of health. Being healthy is a good thing, but it is not the good of man, only a contributor to the good.
According to Aristotle, what one ought to do is thoroughly discussed in Book III of the Nichomachean Ethics. To summarize, Aristotle claims, everything that is living has an objective. An objective is what the thing is meant to do, or what is good for the thing. This is very important for Aristotle, since what something is meant to do with respect to something 's objective and what is good for someone is what someone ought to do analogously. So, morality becomes an interpretation of someone 's objective. If it turns out that the completion of man 's function requires that the man live virtuously, then the man ought to be virtuous.
In order to explain what actions, according to Aristotle, are right, and which actions are wrong, you first, need to look at Arist...


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... case, then Virtue Ethics are no different than Utilitarianism. Perhaps explaining the reason to be dependable is that it is needed for people to rely on one another. If this is the case, then Virtue Ethics is similar to Social Contract Theory.
It appears from the above examples that Virtue Ethics do not explain why something would be a virtue. It also shows that the specific reasons why someone should be virtuous cannot be answered and is therefore incomplete (Rachels 170-1).
In conclusion it seems that it would be very difficulty for Aristotle to overcome these objections without either drastically overhauling some of the basic precepts of right and wrong, and continually updating the definition of what is virtuous, or admitting that all things are relative. In don 't see that either of the choices would do anything to overcome the criticisms of virtue ethics.

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