Virtue two vices, one that possesses too
is a state that humans possess that allows humans to well and achieve the good
life. According to Aristotle there are two types of virtue; virtue of character
and virtue of thought. Virtue of thought comes from experience where as virtue of
character comes from habit. Overall, how Aristotle sees moral virtue as a state
that derive from decisions that are composed of a mean that is relative to us which
is interpreted through reason the way a man who is wise and possessing intelligence
would define it. This mean is in the middle of two vices, one that possesses
too much and the other that possess too little. Aristotle sees virtue as a
state of living. It is not our feelings nor is it an activity. One must be virtuous
in order to do an activity well by having the ability to think rationally. When
saying that virtue is a state of character regarding choice means that each virtue
that we possess is a state of mind or habit that is inclined toward making a
decision. Virtue of character comes from habit, the more one performs a certain
action the more this becomes habit. This causes one to develop reason, and the capability
to make our own decisions. The decisions we make influence one’s feelings or their
states, which determines an individuals disposition. In order to be virtuous,
one must feel a certain way or be in a certain state in order to make decisions
that will ultimately bring someone closer to achieving the good life.
state of virtue that we have is composed of a mean. This mean is the nature of character
that causes one to possesses certain feels or make certain actions in a sort of
average that consists of the perfect state that a person strives toward.
Without this mean, one cannot be virtuous and would constantly be in states of
extreme highs and lows. These means that make us virtuous are relative to us.
This meaning that no one is the same person therefore not everyone will have
the same desires that they are working towards and everyone’s circumstances are
relative to who they are as a person. If everyone worked towards what their own
thought of what this means is, then everyone would have very different
outcomes, which would result in very few to nobody who is truly virtuous. This reason
causes us to look for the perfect middle that corresponds with our character. Since
the mean is relative to each person, everyone has a different way of recognizing
what the mean is. It cannot simply be placed wherever we want, this is why it is
up to the most wise and rational of people to identify the means. It is once
again identified by a middle ground however it is someone who possesses the most
rationality and the most virtuous, who are those who have no excess or deficient
states who have the ability to recognize the means. Someone may think that they have achieved this
equilibrium between two vices, however, it is ultimately up to the most
rational of people to know for sure if an individual is truly virtuous. For
example, a teacher make think that they are very good, however, a rational person
may see this person as someone who lacks in their teaching skills, this mean
that in reality this person has not been able to meet the standards of virtue
and has failed to identify the means that would make an individual a good
These means are all composed
of a certain equilibrium that is located in between two extremities, one of
which is excess and the other of which is deficiency. This mean is our state of
character that causes us to act and feel a certain way and it is in the middle
of two extremes that would consist of having an excess of a certain state and
having a lack of a certain state. It is a mean because arete meaning virtue has
to fall directly in-between the two vices of a state that is excess and deficient.
It is very easy for one to have too much or too little of a state of character,
this is why it is important for the most rational of people to indicate where
the equilibrium is. Having an excess or a deficiency of a state will wreck virtue.
For example, when looking at health, having an excess intake of food is just as
bad as eating too little. Both of these vices will ruin the virtue of health.
It is important to look at the in-between, because it is the best way to do
something and to obtain ethical virtue. This middle ground is what makes us virtuous.
It is state of virtue is the perfect state that we work towards Nobody simply
has these virtues at birth, virtues of character do not come naturally It is
important to remember that in order for someone to achieve this equilibrium
between the two vices of excess and deficiency it requires constant practice making
it become habit and seem natural to us.