Aristotle -Virtue and Continence Essay

August 15, 2017 History

Aristotle’s positions have today come to determine the manner in which people view things and how they think. In this essay I will be discoursing the difference between continency and moderation and their relation to moral virtuousness and how it is possessed. I will explicate what Aristotle’s position on cognition. and how it the key to human life. When Aristotle describes moral virtuousness he describes it as something that “comes as a consequence of habit” ( Nicomanchean Ethical motives I. xiii 1103a17 ) to province that “non of the moral virtuousnesss are in us by nature” .

( Nicomanchean Ethical motives I. xiii 1103a18 ) by stating this Aristotle is connoting that moral virtuousness is acquired by the repeat of making good workss and moving with good wont. and goes to demo that it can non be acquired by nature by utilizing the statement of trying to learn a stone to travel against its nature and non drop. Although an interesting statement at how he believes moral virtuousness could be obtained is when he states that “neither by nature. so. nor contrary to nature make the virtuousnesss originate in us ; instead we are adopted by nature to have them and they are made perfect by habit” ( Nicomanchean Ethical motives I. xiii.

1103a23-25 ) it is in this that he states that it is in our nature to pick things up by wont doing it in our ability to go morally virtuous in the apprehension of pleasances and hurting. With this apprehension of moral virtuousness. it has made the apprehension of what moderation and continency possible for they are a portion of moral virtuousness. To get down with. there are two of import pieces of information that must be acknowledged ; the first is that moderation is a province within moral virtuousness. or a signifier of which a moral person would be in while he is morally virtuousnesss. doing a adult male temperate adult male a moral adult male.

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The 2nd is in the manner in which Aristotle describes and explains moderation and continency ; he does so utilizing most of the clip their negations ( so to talk ) of self-indulgence and incontinency. The first to be discussed is moderation and its resistance of self-indulgence. The temperate person is concerned with bodily pleasances. the sort of pleasances that other animate beings portion. 1s of touch and gustatory sensation in which make the single slavish.

Here is when Aristotle begins to depict the self-indulgent adult male so that he can demo precisely what non the temperate adult male does and so that the true nature of the temperate person may be seen. He describes the self-indulgent adult male to be every bit attached to the pleasance of the senses like that of an animate being in Nicomachean Ethics III. ten. 1118b1-2. The self- indulgent person is one whom has a specific appatite for some pleasance that re enjoyed by many. while others that are non.

Aristotle uses the illustration of “the appatite for nutrient [ and describes is at ] natural. since everyone who is without it craves for nutrient or drink and sometimes for both. and for love ( as Homer says ) if he is immature and lustily ; but non everyone craves for this or that sort of nutriment of love” ( Nicomachean Ethical motives III. ten. 1118b9-10 ) demoing that everyone including the ego indulgent adult male person has apatite. but the self indulgent goes incorrect and the sense of these “natural apatite’s in that of excess” ( Nicomean Ethical motives III. eleven. 1118b16 ) and that when it comes to the curious pleasances. most persons. as Aristotle describes it. either are indulging in the incorrect thing. indulgence in the incorrect manner. or indulging in the incorrect sum.

The self- indulgent adult male does all three unlike other single whom merely do one of these three in respect to the peculiar pleasances. It is of import to take note here that when Aristotle negotiations of pleasances he means those of nutrient and touch. an illustration of this would be sexual intercourse. The temperate adult male lies in the center of all these things. He does non experience pain when he does non hold these pleasances. or hurting from an inordinate sum of pleasances like that of a self- indulgent person. the ground he does non experience this hurting is because he does non want what he should non ; nil that is bad or considered to be negative.

The temperate person is shown to be as the polar antonym of a self- indulgent adult male. Where the ego indulgent adult male is considered to be like a kid aimlessly traveling after th pleasances he desires irrespective of what they are. and the temperate adult male being the with the greatest signifier of reason that allows him to merely hold of what is good. in the right sum and in the right manner. and nil more than that due to his reason. At this point we are done with the account of the temperate adult male by demoing everything he does non make. or desire ( once more because of his reason ) . by demoing what the self-indulgent single nature is.

When it comes to continence. its resistance incontinency is one of the three sorts of provinces in which the morally virtuous person should avoid ; the other sorts are frailty and brutishness. Continence. in Aristotle’s point of position is said to the praiseworthy due to its endurance. In this sense endurance is the act of non leting oneself to move in a mode of one manner when they desire to move the antonym. The description of incontinency gives slightly of a light as to what the continent of continency is like that of what self-indulgence did with the temperate description.

Aristotle states that the “incontinent adult male. cognizing that what he does is bad. does it as a consequence of passion. while the continent adult male. cognizing that his apatite’s are bad. garbages on an history of his rational rule to follow them” ( Nicomanchean Ethical motives VII. I. 1145b13-14 ) demoing how the incontinent adult male. unlike the ego indulgent adult male is cognizant that his actions towards his appetencies for pleasance are incorrect. but acts to anyway because his passion is in control of him ; unlike the ego indulgent adult male whom is unaware of his actions when he acts out of passion.

The manner in which Aristotle describes these signifiers of work forces is based on their cognition. logical thinking. and reason of what is good or bad and write and incorrect. or in other words an individual’s reason and passions is what controls the actions of said single. He describes the continent adult male of non truly possessing of cognition and reason. because in his position. if one to truly to be able to ground and rationalize they would non even hold appeties. He would non be indulging in any sum. he would remain off from the appetencies all together and non even have them. The reason in which Aristotle believes continent persons posses he names sentiment.

The difrence between the continent an the incontinent is that the ulterior chooses to move on his appetency for pleasance regardless of reason. or what he is said to cognize. Although once more Aristotle does non believe that the incontinent adult male is moving against his reason but against merely his sentiment and if he is in fact against his reason so what he is genuinely making is he is being nescient.

The incontinent adult male Aristotle describes following. in the unqualified sense. where he describes him as “neither concerned with any and every object. but with exactly those with which the ego indulgent adult male is concerned. nor is he merely related to theses ( for so his province would be the same as self indulgence ) but being related to them in a certain manner.

For one is led in on harmonizing with his ain pick. thought that he ought to ever prosecute the present pleasances ; while the other does non believe so. but yet pursues it” ( Nicomachean Ethical motives VII. three. 1146B18-25 ) . In this he attempts to explicate the nature of the incontinent adult male with the comparing to the ego indulgent adult male. satiating that he is non considered to be the same as the ego indulgent but they are a similar version of each other. the difference being is that the ego indulgent adult male believes that he should move on every pleasance while the continent person. Aristotle argues Acts of the Apostless with full cognition of what he is making is incorrect.

He besides describes in what manner the incontinent adult male acts wrongly. non in every manner of that of the self- indulgent. but merely the peculiar. significance that with his ain pick he chooses to indulge in the incorrect thing. in the incorrect manner. and in the incorrect sum. Finally. Aristotle relates the incontinent adult male as the bibulous adult male. possessed wholly by his passions and unable to move on his reason.

Here we come to see that the continent adult male is one with desires like that of a incontinent adult male. the difference is in the factor that the first is possessed by ground and reason and the other ignores his ground and reason and is controlled by his passions and desire for pleasances. There are two ways to look at the inquiry of “ if a continent individual does the right thing. what is he missing? ” One manner to look at it is to compare the continent adult male to the temperate adult male being as to some they are thought of the same thing.

The difference is that the temperate adult male lacks endurance. doing them different in the sense that the temperate adult male does non even have passions to move a manner other than the right manner. But from this stems another statement. This statement is the 1 that sees that the continent adult male that does the right thing deficiencies being controlled by his passions in the sense that he is good cognizant that there is a desire within him to move in another manner that is non right but he chooses to non move on it due to the fact that he has ground.

The 2nd manner of looking at this is reasoning that the continent adult male lacks true cognition and reason. When he is moving in the right manner he is merely following an sentiment of what he ought to make and what ought non to make. Aristotle’s position on how one might be incontinent is fundamentally one that goes wholly against what Socrates’ thinks. In Socrates position on the fact that there coul be no such thing as incontinency. he believes this because he argues that one with the ability to hold cognition and reason that allow him to posses the information of what ought to make and what ought non to make so he would non be moving in a manner that goes to what is incorrect.

He is a strong believes in that if one truly possesses reason so they could non be mastered by their apatite. Here the statement arises of whether those whom are incontinent merely have sentiment and non knowledge and reason. which is what Socrates believed. Aristotle dispenses this position by stating that it is non plenty of a valid theory for him. He believes that it is non a valid theory as written in the book “that it explains nil since a individuals mere sentiment may be merely every bit strong as another’s knowledge” ( Nicomachean Ethical motives VII. iii 146b24-30 ) .

He uses this statement to demo Socrates that one may truly experience as though the sentiment they has is fact because they do non hold the cognition of otherwise. He so continues by giving the suggestion that an incontinent adult male has ethical cognition but it is non exerting it. and when he fails to exert it or even cognize his cognition of the peculiar premiss of the practical syllogism ( Nicomachean Ethical motives VII. iii 146b35-147a8 ) . He goes on to utilize the illustration that an person may cognize what dry nutrient is good for every adult male and that he is a adult male. but non that this nutrient is dry. or he might non exert his cognition that this nutrient is dry.

If he doesn’t cognize the facts about a peculiar state of affairs. that would be apprehensible ; but if he knows so why doesn’t he exercise it? And that is why Aristotle refers to the incontinent adult male as an asleep. mad. or intoxicated person because in Al of these provinces the adult male still can exert that cognition merely fails to due to being taken over by passions.

The manner in which Aristotle topographic points moderation above continency and incontinency above intemperance or ego indulgence is due to the ability to be able to find what good. and good felicity is in. his belief that that the map of a human being consists of the rational portion of the psyche in conformity to virtue proves that he Is a adult male that believes that reason it the true key to life. that being said it becomes obvious as to why Aristotle moderation above continency and incontinency above intemperance.

He does this because he chooses that with the most reason to be the 1 that brings the most sum of felicity. Temperance compared to continents shows that moderation is the province in which posses the more true signifier of reason.

He has this belief beause ( as it was said earlier in the paper ) that those whom are temperate merely act as they ought. when they ought. and in the right sum. their reason doesn’t let them to want anything other than that. doing them the happiest of worlds because they are decently making their map to be in a happy life. Continence on the other manus is non working. their reason is non as strong due to the fact that they still posses appetencies to make what they should non. and they do receives theses pleasances ( merely the good 1s ) and avoid the 1s that are bad.

For this ground Aristotle places continency beneath moderation. because continency is non at the same degree of reason that makes it at a different degree of felicity. The ground in which Aristotle topographic points incontinency above ego indulgence for the same ground. the incontinent person has reason. they merely choose non to move on it. while the intemperate individual does non posses any reason of what one nothing to make. they merely follow their desire for pleasances and believe that is what they should make at all times. In decision it could be argues that Aristotle places excessively much of a elephantine axial rotation for cognition to play in order of an person to be a good individual.

Chiefly because I believe that what he says in the earlier portion of the Nicomachean Ethics in book three about wont goes unnoticed or becomes slightly disregarded. I believe. I will explicate this sentiment with an illustration: if a kid were to be taught to move in a certain manner. every twenty-four hours of his life until they reach a maturity. and the environing communities act in the same manner. the kid now as an grownup Acts of the Apostless in that same manner in which he was taught at childhood. If this action is good. so the person now acts in a good mode. doing him a good individual regardless of cognition because he acts out of wont. and making anything different would be unusual.

Second. the manner in which he places cognition and reason as the ground for felicity. which is why he places moderation above continent. A temperate person has a true degree of cognition that causes them to non hold desires to an in an inordinate or bad mode. this to Aristotle’s point of position is the best sort of character an person could posses. I believe this to be incorrect. chiefly because I believe that the individual in which has desires to move in an inordinate or incorrect manner. 1 that has desires for pleasances and yet chooses non to move on them is the best character.

A individual with the ability to halt themselves from moving on their desires because they know that they are incorrect makes that individuals character strong. and makes that individual a better individual because they can separate between what is right and incorrect. If a temperate individual were faced with a state of affairs in which reason could non assist. they would non posses the ability to contemplate of a state of affairs of what would be less incorrect to make than another action. Because of this Aristotle strong sentiment on how cognition is fundamentally the key to life is incorrect.


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