Aristotle on Pleasure and Happiness Analytical Essay by scribbler

Aristotle on Pleasure and Happiness
A review of Aristotle's concepts of virtue, happiness and pleasure.
# 153222 | 866 words | 0 sources | 2013 | US
Published on May 08, 2013 in Philosophy (Ancient Greek) , Philosophy (Ethics) , Ethics (General)

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The paper looks at how Aristotle examined the concept of virtue and explains that for Aristotle, moral virtue is the state of character lying at the mean between the extremes of excess and deficiency, while intellectual virtue is the kind of virtue acquired through teaching. The paper then examines how Aristotle takes the concept of virtue and applies it to the pursuit for happiness; the paper also looks at how Aristotle defines the best form of friendship. In addition, the paper explains how for Aristotle, virtue is only measurable through one's actions, and, contained in this concept of virtue is the collateral concept of moral responsibility. The paper shows how virtue, happiness, pleasure and friendship were all concepts important to Aristotle's attempt to explain not only his own existence but also the existence of mankind in general.

From the Paper:

"Before examining pleasure, however, Aristotle examines the concept of virtue. For Aristotle moral virtue, as opposed as intellectual virtue, is the state of character lying at the mean between the extremes of excess and deficiency. He believed that moral virtue is how we feel, choose, and act well. Intellectual virtue is the kind of virtue acquired through teaching. Moral virtues are what constitute the state of our character but not all states of character are necessarily related to our virtues. Many of our states of character are vices. Aristotle's view was that virtue is defined as the mean between two extremes; the state of equilibrium. That point between excess and deficiency that enables a virtuous person to real and react to circumstances in an appropriate way and to an appropriate degree as opposed to an over-reacting way on the one hand and an under-reacting way on the other.
"In Aristotle's mind virtues are not passions. Passions are feelings and we are never praised for how we feel, we are praised or criticized for our virtues. Our feelings are more or less involuntary and are reactions to circumstances. They do not merit either praise or blame. We are, however, praised or blamed for our virtue. Virtue is how we behave in response to circumstances and are thereby subject to review. Thus, virtues are states of character. For example, feeling anger is a natural part of everyone's existence. Having the ability to feel angry is not subject to critical evaluation, however, how one acts while angry is."

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