By Howard J. Curzer

Aristotle is the daddy of advantage ethics--a self-discipline that's receiving renewed scholarly consciousness. but Aristotle's bills of the person virtues stay opaque, for many modern commentators of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics have concentrated upon different issues. by contrast, Howard J. Curzer takes Aristotle's exact description of the person virtues to be crucial to his moral thought. operating in the course of the Nicomachean Ethics virtue-by-virtue, explaining and customarily protecting Aristotle's claims, this booklet brings every one of Aristotle's virtues alive. a brand new Aristotle emerges, an Aristotle enthusiastic about the main points of the person virtues.

Justice and friendship carry distinct locations in Aristotle's advantage thought. Many modern discussions position justice and friendship at contrary, even perhaps conflicting, poles of a spectrum. Justice looks greatly a public, neutral, and dispassionate factor, whereas friendship is paradigmatically deepest, partial, and passionate. but Curzer argues that during Aristotle's view they're really symbiotic. Justice is outlined by way of friendship, and sturdy friendship is outlined when it comes to justice.

Curzer is going directly to demonstrate how advantage ethics is not just approximately being reliable; it's also approximately changing into solid. Aristotle and the Virtues reconstructs Aristotle's account of ethical improvement. sure personality forms function phases of ethical improvement. yes catalysts and mechanisms lead from one level to the following. Explaining why a few humans can't make ethical growth specifies the preconditions of ethical improvement. ultimately, Curzer describes Aristotle's quest to figure out the final word target of ethical improvement, happiness.

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Courage and temperance are complementary in another way, too. Many courageous acts have external goals, but sometimes (when repelling an attacker, for example) a person may act courageously just to avoid a counter-goal. Similarly, many temperate acts have the external goal of sensual pleasure, but sometimes (when repelling a seducer, for example) a person may act temperately just to avoid a counter-goal. To summarize, a virtuous act is always performed partially for its own sake, partially for the avoidance of some characteristic harm, and often also for the achievement of some characteristic good.

E. death, injury, and physical pain). Aristotle next identifies a class of situations that clearly exhibit courage (and its associated vices) namely life-threatening, battlefield situations. Finally, Aristotle limits the sphere of courage to situations where confidence as well as fear of physical harm is appropriate. In tracing this process I have made four general claims about Aristotle’s theory of virtues. First, the objects of the virtues are objective. Virtues are expressed in action and passion with respect to what virtuous people take the objects to be.

Courage’s proper pleasure is the pleasure of accomplishing something worthwhile despite a risk of physical harm. Proper pleasures may differ in various ways. Notice in particular that the temperate person feels a physical sensation, but the liberal person does not. Aristotle’s accounts of pleasure and pain in NE VII and NE X are complex, contested, and beyond the scope of this book. But one thing upon which interpreters agree is that when Aristotle speaks of pleasure or pain, he is not always, or even typically, speaking of a feeling.

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