Nicomachean Ethics Essay

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Armando Sago Reason and Beliefs Nicomachean Ethics The character traits that Book 7 of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics explores are primarily vice and virtue. Virtue is the will to do good, while vice is the opposite. Someone with virtue is able to resist temptations. However, it isn’t as simple as just vice versus virtue; there are many character traits in between. Incontinence is to continence as vice is to virtue. On the extreme ends of the spectrum, brutishness is to superhuman virtue. In order to be brutish, you need to have something severely mentally wrong with you, no human is that awful. The same goes for superhuman virtue- no one is perfectly good. If Aristotle were alive today, his words would still ring true. Aristotle recognizes no one is perfect or completely bad, we’re all somewhere in the between. There are different motives for having vice or virtue. For example, licentious people are people who crave pleasure in excess and realize it’s wrong- like rapists or sex addicts. There are different types of incontinence. Incontinence of temper is anger- this is forgivable because we all get pushed to our limit sometimes. People who are incontinent because they desire things like food, sex or money are understandable because we need things like that, unless they crave it in excess at which a point they’d be considered licentious. All of these cravings are still applicable in today’s world, though we may have different names for some of them. The difference between vice and incontinence is that vice is done on purpose and incontinence is done out of passion. An example of someone acting with vice is getting a tattoo just because you know it’ll piss your parents off. However, an example of incontinence would be getting a tattoo because you really, really want it even though you know your parents won’t approve. As you can see, though many things have

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