Virtues are part of our character and encompass such things as loyalty, courage, truth and integrity and are also an essential part of who we are. This essay starts at the beginning, with the first philosophers to question the idea of happiness and virtue, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Their concepts, ideas and their conclusions will be stated; an analysis of each individual’s belief will be summarized and compared. Socrates believed happiness could only be attained if a person was morally good. In order to be morally good, you have to know what is good.
Mill roots the Greatest Happiness Principle in his theory of life. The theory of life claims that all moral value can be understood in pleasure, which is intrinsically good, and pain, intrinsically bad. Therefore, an action is right if it produces pleasure and is wrong if it decreases pleasure or produces pain (Module 7.1). Mill’s theory of utility states that the utilitarian standard is not the agents’ own greatest happiness but the greatest amount of happiness altogether (Mill 20). He then goes on to explain that Jesus’ golden rule, do unto others as you would do unto you, is the “perfection of utilitarian morality” (Mill 27-28).
Chapter two of Nicomachean Ethics deals with virtue, most importantly, its golden mean—the amount that which the virtue is secreted neither in excess nor in deficiency. For example, courage is a mean between its deficiency of rashness and the excess of cowardice. Another example can be justice, its deficiency being giving too little and its excess being giving too much. As such, Aristotle argues that virtue cannot be good nor can be virtue in itself unless it completes the criteria of achieving the golden mean. At first glance, this argument seems to be inevitable, as it seems that moderation to everything is a necessity.
“CONTEMPLATION” Why is Contemplation so highly regarded by Aristotle when considering what is the best state of leisure, how does this portray in my own individual state of happiness. By understanding Aristotle’s idea of contemplation, can it solve this overall collective dissatisfaction with the way I view my leisure state? Aristotle begins the ethics by stating the activities performed in an individuals life and existence aims at some sort of good. Aristotle exemplifies this through three different explanations of “good” (traditional patterns of life). These are the life of Pleasure, the Political life, and Contemplative life.
Aristotle's view is based on Plato's and Plato's is based on Socrates' teachings, this is why they are similar but they are all important and different with each philosopher's personal views and beliefs. Socrates was a great man who was assassinated for his beliefs on the purpose of life and how to live happily. He presented the excellence of function to determine how a person will truly be happiest. The true person is not what he is on the outside but what his psyche or soul is and when that is functioning well the person is happiest. Psyche is the human capacity for reflective thinking and also the consciousness of the soul.
Plato continued his belief that if a person knows that moral virtue leads to happiness, they should act according to this knowledge. If a person knows that virtue leads to happiness but acts against this idea, then they are immoral, and immoral behavior is the sign of a diseased soul. The last of the “big three” in ancient Greek philosophy was Aristotle, a student of Plato’s. Aristotle’s view on ethics, the “Aristotelian Ethics”, is that ethical knowledge is not only a theoretical knowledge, but rather that a person must have experience of the actions in life and have been brought up in fine habits to become good. Aristotle also believed that
INTRODUCTION As philosophers of the golden age of Greek philosophy, Plato and Aristotle have immensely contributed to political philosophy, aside other areas. In this write-up, we intend to evaluate the points of agreement and disagreement as regards the prescriptions on the ideal state by both these Socratic philosophers. THE IDEAL STATE Initially, a state is defined as a “territorial entity divided into government and subject; and claiming within its allotted area, supremacy over all other institutions”. The word “ideal” simply means a “perfected standard”. Hence, an ideal state must be a state that is based on a perfected standard.
Virtue ethics is agent-centred ethics rather than act-centred; it asks ‘What sort of person ought I to be?’ rather than ‘How ought I to act?’ The Aristotelian approach shows to give an account of the structure of morality and explained that the point of enrolling in ethics is to become good: ‘For we are enquiring not in order to know what virtue is but in order to become good since otherwise our enquiry would be of no use.’ (Nichomachean Ethics, Book 1, ch. 2) Quite importantly, Aristotle’s distinguishes between things which are good as means (for the sake of something else) and things which are good as ends (for their own sake only), Aristotle seeks for one final and overriding end of human action, one final good – eudaimonia (or final happiness). Philosophers of the 20th century brought about a revival of virtue ethics as many were concerned with the act-centered ethical theories. Virtue ethics is able to do something very different to other ethical theories – rather than focus on the act of a person, virtue ethics will focus on the person itself. The modern development of virtue ethics is often linked back to a paper by G. E. M. Anscombe entitled ‘Modern Moral Philosophy’.
Aristotle advanced the philosophy of ethics, where he demonstrated that it is a means of achieving an end to happiness. However, happiness means many things to different people. To Aristotle, the most adequate way to pursue happiness is through the virtue of excellence. In his writings, Aristotle connected his therory of virtue to economics, and leadership as well. It is a matter of connecting ones personal ethics to that of ones business ethics., simply because Aristotle made no disticntion between ethics and politics.
Equality pertaining to justice is significant because everyone wants to be views equally and dealing with justice it is important that the equality of each person is granted. The philosopher and author Plato or the Republic, shows his position on the subject of what is justice and to whom justice serves the best of interest to. Thrasymachus argued that justice was in the interest of the stronger. Socrates on the other hand disagreed and used many examples to support his argument that justice wasn’t only in the interest of the superior, but for the subjects’ interest as well. Thrasymachus believed that the superior, or the stronger, has the best interest of justice.