Aristotelian virtue ethics essay

For Aristotle, the form is not something outside the object, but rather  in the varied phenomena of sense. Real substance, or true being, is not the abstract form, but rather the  concrete individual thing. Unfortunately, Aristotle's theory of substance is not altogether consistent with itself. In the  Categories the notion of substance tends to be nominalistic (that is, substance is a concept we apply to things). In the Metaphysics , though, it frequently inclines towards realism (that is, substance has a real existence in itself). We are also struck by the apparent contradiction in his claims that science deals with universal concepts, and substance is declared to be an individual. In any case, substance is for him a merging of matter into form. The term "matter" is used by Aristotle in four overlapping senses.  First , it is the underlying structure of changes, particularly changes of growth and of decay.  Secondly , it is the potential which has implicitly the capacity to develop into reality.  Thirdly , it is a kind of stuff without specific qualities and so is indeterminate and contingent.  Fourthly , it is identical with form when it takes on a form in its actualized and final phase.

Friedrich Nietzsche 's view of virtue is based on the idea of an order of rank among people. For Nietzsche, the virtues of the strong are seen as vices by the weak and slavish, thus Nietzsche's virtue ethics is based on his distinction between master morality and slave morality . Nietzsche promotes the virtues of those he calls "higher men", people like Goethe and Beethoven. The virtues he praises in them are their creative powers (“the men of great creativity” - “the really great men according to my understanding” (WP 957)). According to Nietzsche these higher types are solitary, pursue a "unifying project", revere themselves and are healthy and life-affirming. [35] Because mixing with the herd makes one base, the higher type “strives instinctively for a citadel and a secrecy where he is saved from the crowd, the many, the great majority…” (BGE 26). The 'Higher type' also "instinctively seeks heavy responsibilities" (WP 944) in the form of an "organizing idea" for their life, which drives them to artistic and creative work and gives them psychological health and strength. [35] The fact that the higher types are "healthy" for Nietzsche does not refer to physical health as much as a psychological resilience and fortitude. Finally, a Higher type affirms life because he is willing to accept the eternal return of his life and affirm this forever and unconditionally.

Aristotelian virtue ethics essay

aristotelian virtue ethics essay


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