engaging in ethics is to become good. 'For we are enquiring not in order to know what virtue is but in order to become good since otherwise our enquiry would be of no use.' (Nicomachean Ethics)
There is one final end to human activity - eudemonia which is human flourishing, characterised by virtues.
A good life is one lived in harmony with others. Humans are social beings.
We must place the well being of the group over the individual.
2 types of virtues.
1. Intellectual virtues - developed through practise - knowledge, prudence and intelligence
2. Moral virtues - developed through habit - courage, friendliness
These are skills. 'We learn to play the harp through playing the harp. In the same way we become just by doing just acts, courageous by doing acts of courage.'
• Someone who achieved eudemonia, someone who used their reason well. Reason is supreme virtue
• Reason used to think and moral sense - the ability to put into action what reason said was good.
• Reason is practical- involves understanding and responding.
Doesn't give guidance to make a decision, use reason to work out what to do.
• Virtue is found in the Golden Mean. Virtue is found between two vices. Between the excess or deficiency of the true virtue.
Courage - Coward does not have enough, fool runs into danger
• This golden mean is not the same for everyone and depends on circumstance 'right amount at the right time' - apply 'Phronesis' to work out (practical wisdom)
Golden mean is subjective. Not always a mean to act upon. Some virtues can become vices, showing courage in an oppressive war.
• We develop autonomy as we grow up and away from rules. (flourish)
We can learn how to be virtuous through virtuous people - replicate their behavior
Different cultures have different values, yet shared virtue ethics religious morality. Religious leaders seen as perfect examples. Moreover teachings support virtue ethic system, well-being for the individual and the community.
'Love your enemies' Jesus
'If people do you good, you will do good to them' Mohammad
'Neither fire nor wind, birth nor death can irradiate our good deeds.
Virtuous people aren't always virtuous - rolf harris
All people have the potential to develop moral and intellectual virtues, only a few will achieve.
-for Aristotle these were male philosophers.
A person should not act virtuously just to achieve an end, subordinate aim. Instead because goodness is a superior aim.