Artistotle's Virtue Ethics - Essay Example

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Aristotle’s Virtue Ethics Is lying ethically or morally right or wrong? One may say that it is wrong, however, the decision to tell a lie may be ethical, if the outcomes achieved are favorable…
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Artistotles Virtue Ethics
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"Artistotle's Virtue Ethics"

Download file to see previous pages This is an ever-going debate between ethical theorists and moral philosophers, which seems to have no end. Nevertheless, when deontologists and Teleologists are debating on what matters the most, either the actions in themselves or the consequences of those actions, Aristotle’s virtue ethics provides a solution, which asks to focus on the being or the person rather than his or her actions and consequences (Devettere, pp. 26-28). Aristotle believed that ethics is not a theoretical discipline since one does not ask this question for the sake of just knowing it but the question of “what is good for human beings” is for achieving that “good” (Hursthouse, pp. 103-104). However, important here to note is the fact that when Aristotle is taking about the good, he is talking about a list of ethical actions and duties, instead he is focusing on one highest good which is above all other “goods” (Hursthouse, pp. 103-104). One of the most important reasons why Virtue ethics stands out of the crowd of other normative theories is because it makes a clear distinction between ethics for humans and animals. Aristotle identified the difference between form and material substance. According to him, the human body is made of flesh and this is material substance but this is not what makes humans beings as human beings. The form, which is the soul of the humans, is responsible for the same (Devettere, pp. 26-28, 2002). Therefore, according to Aristotle, each living thing has a soul and it works in different capacities. For example, the perceptive soul is responsible for forming images and perception, the nutritive soul has the responsibility of growth, the locomotive soul takes care of the motion and others. These are common in both humans and animals, however, humans’ posses something other, which is not present with other animals and that, is the rational soul (Hursthouse, pp. 103-104). This is what draws the line between humans and animals and this special and extra gift to human beings must have the answer of “what is good for human beings?” Therefore, the good for human beings, the highest happiness, or the biggest virtue is reason and rationality. It is ethical to live your life according to your reason and logic or else you are worse than an animal (Darwall, pp. 265). As Aristotle argued, “the function of man is activity of soul in accordance with reason, or at least, not without reason” (Darwall, pp. 265-269). Aristotle believed that the thinker or a rational person is the best person or the closest to the divine being or more like divine being. He believed that the rational soul of human being is a part of the divine soul that we posses and by the use of the same, one can discover the mysteries of the universe. People who try to live their lives with vulgar pleasures are more like animals and less like humans because they fail to understand their own potential. However, important here to note is that reason for logic that Aristotle has identified is not subjective and will not differ from person to person but it is objective (Devettere, pp. 26-28). Therefore, for Aristotle and virtue ethicist, ethical is something, which is an action of an ethical person, rather than based on the actions or consequences of that action. It is important to note that when other ethical theories and moral philosophers talk about, rewards, punishments, courts, screenings, law, rules and regulations and others to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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