The nichomacean ethics

Concerning this point, Aristotle asserts that even though people with a bad character may be ignorant and even seem unable to choose the right things, this condition stems from decisions that were originally voluntary, the same as poor health can develop from past choices—and, "While no one blames those who are ill-formed by nature, people do censure those who are that way through lack of exercise and neglect.

Instead of being habit, character is a hexis like health or knowledge, meaning it is a stable disposition that must be pursued and maintained with some effort. And just knowing what would be virtuous is not enough.

The Nicomachean Ethics is very often abbreviated "NE", or "EN", and books and chapters are generally referred to by Roman and Arabic numerals, respectively, along with corresponding Bekker numbers.

Most people are misled by pleasure, "for it seems to them to be a good, though it is not". For this reason Aristotle claims it is important not to The nichomacean ethics too much precision, like the demonstrations we would The nichomacean ethics from a mathematician, but rather to treat the beautiful and the just as "things that are so for the most part.

For this reason, any concern with virtue or politics requires consideration of pleasure and pain. The way of contemplation. This is understood to be referring to Plato and his school, famous for what is now known as the Theory of Forms.

As Burger points out p. Each of these three commonly proposed happy ways of life represents targets that some people aim at for their own sake, just like they aim at happiness itself for its own sake.

And it will be over a lifetime, because "one swallow does not make a spring". Defining "happiness" eudaimonia and the aim of the Ethics[ edit ] The main stream of discussion starts from the well-known opening of Chapter 1, with the assertion that all technical arts, all investigations every methodos, including the Ethics itselfindeed all deliberate actions and choice, all aim at some good apart from themselves.

Aristotle says that virtue, practical judgment and wisdom, and also pleasure, all associated with happiness, and indeed an association with external abundance, are all consistent with this definition. Many believe that these works were not put into their current form by Aristotle himself, but by an editor sometime later.

The virtues then are similarly divided, into intellectual dianoetic virtues, and the virtues of character ethical or moral virtues pertaining to the irrational part of the soul, which can take part in reason.

Most importantly we could say that a worthy spoudaios man will wish for what is "truly" good. They also tend not to be lenient to people for anything they could have chosen to avoid, such as being drunk, or being ignorant of things easy to know, or even of having allowed themselves to develop bad habits and a bad character.

We cannot say that what people wish for is good by definition, and although we could say that what is wished for is always what appears good, this will still be very variable.

The definition given is therefore: He describes a sequence of necessary steps to achieve this: Deliberation is therefore not how we reason about ends we pursue, health for example, but how we think through the ways we can try to achieve them. Only many great misfortunes will limit how blessed such a life can be, but "even in these circumstances something beautiful shines through".

Several more critical terms are defined and discussed: To describe more clearly what happiness is like, Aristotle next asks what the work ergon of a human is. Aristotle says that while all the different things called good do not seem to have the same name by chance, it is perhaps better to "let go for now" because this attempt at precision "would be more at home in another type of philosophic inquiry", and would not seem to be helpful for discussing how particular humans should act, in the same way that doctors do not need to philosophize over the definition of health in order to treat each case.

Happiness in life then, includes the virtues, and Aristotle adds that it would include self-sufficiency autarkeianot the self-sufficiency of a hermit, but of someone with a family, friends and community. And such virtue will be good, beautiful and pleasant, indeed Aristotle asserts that in most people different pleasures are in conflict with each other while "the things that are pleasant to those who are passionately devoted to what is beautiful are the things that are pleasant by nature and of this sort are actions in accordance with virtue".

The section is yet another explanation of why the Ethics will not start from first principles, which would mean starting out by trying to discuss "The Good" as a universal thing that all things called good have in common.

If there are several virtues then the best and most complete or perfect of them will be the happiest one. This style of building up a picture wherein it becomes clear that praiseworthy virtues in their highest form, even virtues like courage, seem to require intellectual virtue, is a theme of discussion Aristotle chooses to associate in the Nicomachean Ethics with Socrates, and indeed it is an approach we find portrayed in the Socratic dialogues of Plato.

The intellectual aspect of virtue will be discussed in Book VI. External goods are also necessary in such a virtuous life, because a person who lacks things such as good family and friends might find it difficult to be happy.

This is the first case mentioned, and it is mentioned within the initial discussion of practical examples of virtues and vices at b Book IV. Someone who runs away becomes a coward, while someone who fears nothing is rash.

An excellent human will be a person good at living life, who does it well and beautifully kalos. As he proceeds, he describes how the highest types of praise, so the highest types of virtue, imply having all the virtues of character at once, and these in turn imply not just good character, but a kind of wisdom.

It is not like in the productive arts, where the thing being made is what is judged as well made or not. First, righteous actions, often done under the influence of teachers, allow the development of the right habits.

Aristotle points to the fact that many aims are really only intermediate aims, and are desired only because they make the achievement of higher aims possible. Concerning honor, pleasure, and intelligence nous and also every virtue, though they lead to happiness, even if they did not we would still pursue them.

Aristotle justifies saying that happiness must be considered over a whole lifetime because otherwise Priamfor example, would be defined as unhappy only because of his unhappy old age.

Moral virtue as conscious choice[ edit ] Chapter 1 distinguishes actions chosen as relevant to virtue, and whether actions are to be blamed, forgiven, or even pitied. Opinions about the relationship between the two works—for example, which was written first, and which originally contained the three common books, are divided.A.

Introduction B. Impacting moral and character development C. Three exemplary programs D. Summary and conclusions E. References Introduction. As previously stated in the section related to desired student outcomes (Huitt, a), in my opinion there are three major issues in the education of young people today.

The first is the development of a vision for one's life that includes the. The Nicomachean Ethics (/ ˌ n ɪ k oʊ ˈ m æ k i ə n /; Ancient Greek: Ἠθικὰ Νικομάχεια) is the name normally given to Aristotle's best-known work on work, which plays a pre-eminent role in defining Aristotelian ethics, consists of ten books, originally separate scrolls, and is understood to be based on notes from his lectures at the Lyceum.

The nichomacean ethics
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