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Aristotle’s – The Ethics of Virtue Essay

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Updated: Oct 18th, 2021

Ethics is defined as the attempt to investigate the key aspects and the human conduct fundamental principles, further, it also focuses on the examination of universal values, that is, the males and females’ essential equality, obeying the land law, caring about safety and health of one’s natural environment. Aristotle starts with a principal idea that there are differences in opinion as per matters regarding what is good for human beings and so that we resolve this problem, we must get a solution to this problem. Ethics is not a theory of discipline since our inquiry as to what is good for human beings is not just gathering knowledge, but to be able to achieve a unique state of fulfillment in case of development a fuller acceptance of issue to thrive (Broadie, p. 48).

In the paper, I am going to focus on Aristotle’s theory of mean. I should stress from the very beginning that Aristotle’s understanding of virtues in the form of mean states lies in the idea that human beings should be of strong and resistant character especially according to our present situation. For instance, the expression of anger and high temper is necessary for the sake of a person’s reaction to certain irritations, however, at other times; our situation can call for a great deal of anger. He implies here that, the proportionateness is according to how extreme a situation is.

Aristotle is showing a commitment to saying that anger should not be allowed to achieve the point of overriding reason. It implies that passion usually leads to an extreme level when one is about to lose a temper. He never strives to reject the possibility that one can be filled with anger without reaching a particular extreme.

Hardie (54) says that we are to distinguish between various points of focus to this subject; each of which we call “a doctrine of the mean”. Thus, there exists the perspective disclosing the fact that every virtue state takes place between two vices: that of excess or extremity, and one more of deprivation or deficiency. Further on, there is the fact that whenever a well-behaved person or virtuous opts for performing morally acceptable action, he is to be presented as one who aims at the act intermediating between alternatives that he rejects. We can object to the second objective.

I can start my criticism by considering that sometimes virtuous acts are to be disclosed according to Aristotle’s definitions. In case I try to concentrate on the present to provide my lover with, I am likely to look for an appropriate amount being neither deficient nor excessive. But in many cases, problems challenging a virtuous agent cannot be regarded as a theme related to this quantitative analysis. Deciding between attending a date or not and instead of respecting a competing obligation, it would never be prudent to describe this as a search for a mean between extremes. Broadie (50) argues that the objection is perceived as a doctrine of my actions in the role of an ethical agent and case of deliberation. To overcome this objection, Aristotle focuses on the judge to determine the guilt of a defendant.

He is not to concentrate on a quantitative question; he attempts to decide the evidence of crime committed and is not focusing on action quantity being the middle element of extremes (Hardie, p. 59).

This essay has attempted to explain Aristotle’s theory of mean, why I disagree with it, and the possible circumstances under which it is found inapplicable. It also focuses on some of the reasons why it is subject to objection.


  1. Broadie, S. “Ethics with Aristotle’s Perspective”. OUP.1998:45-98
  2. Hardie, W.R. “Aristotle- Ethical Theory.” (2nd Edition) Oxford: The Clarendon Press.1980:23-61
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