Essay Example on The right action is always a midpoint between Extremes









The right action is always a midpoint between extremes so there is no all or nothing in this theory even honesty in this view honesty is the perfect midpoint between brutal honesty and failing to say things that need to be said like no one needs to be told that they have a big zit on their face they already know the virtue of honesty means knowing what needs to be put out there and what you should keep quiet about and it also means knowing how to deliver hard truths gracefully how to break bad news gently or to offer criticism in a way that s constructive rather than soul crushing the virtue of generosity works the same way it avoids the obvious vice of stinkiness but also doesn t give too much it's not generous to give drugs to an addict or to buy a round of drinks for everyone in the bar when you need that money for rent the right amount of generosity means giving when you have it to those who need it it can mean having the disposition to give for the heck of it but it also means realizing when you can't or shouldn't give so now you can see why Aristotle's definition of virtue was totally vague where that golden mean is depends on the situation but if you have to figure out what virtue is in every situation how could you possibly ever learn to be virtuous 

Aristotle thought there was a lot that you could learn from books but how to be a good person was not one of them he said that virtue is a skill a way of living and that's something that can only really be learned through experience virtue is a kind of knowledge that he called a practical wisdom you might think of it as kind of like street smarts and the thing about street smarts is that you got to learn them on the street but the good news is you don't have to do it alone Aristotle said your character is developed through habituation if you do a virtuous thing over and over again eventually it will become part of your character but the way you know what the right thing to do is in the first place is by finding someone who already knows and emulating that these people who already possess virtue are moral exemplars and according to this theory we are built with the ability to recognize them and the desire to emulate them so you learn virtue by watching it and then doing it and the beginning it ll be hard and maybe it ll feel fake because you re just copying someone who s better than you at being a good person but over time these actions will become an ingrained part of your character and eventually it becomes that robust trait that Aristotle was talking about it ll just manifest every time you need it that's when you know you have virtue fully realized it becomes effortless ok but why what's your motivation what if you have no desire to beat the guy who always says the right thing or the lady who always finds the courage when it's needed virtue theory says that you should become virtuous because if you are then you can attain the pinnacle of humanity it allows you to achieve what s known as eudaimonia this is a cool Greek word that doesn't have a simple 

English translation you might say it means a life well lived it is sometimes translated as human flourishing and the life of eudaimonia is a life of striving it's a life of pushing yourself to your limits and finding success a Udine monistic life will be full of the happiness that comes from achieving something really difficult rather than just having it handed to you but choosing to live a you die monistic life means that you re never done improving you re never to a point where you can just coast you're constantly setting new goals and working to develop new muscles choosing to live life in this way also means you ll face disappointments and failures eudaimonia doesn t mean a life of cupcakes and rainbows it means the sweet pleasure of sinking into bed at the end of an absolutely exhausting day it’s the satisfaction of knowing you've accomplished a lot and then you've pushed yourself to be the very best person you could be this is morality for Aristotle it s being the best person you can be honing your strengths while working on your weaknesses and for Aristotle the kind of person who lives like this is the kind of person who will do good things today we learned about virtue theory we studied the golden mean and how it exists as a midpoint between the vices of excess and deficiency we talked about moral exemplars and the life of eudaimonia that comes with virtuousness next time we re going to consider a tricky little problem in ethics known as moral luck crash course philosophy is produced in association with PBS Digital Studios you can head over to their channel check out a playlist of the latest episodes from shows like PBS space time barbecue with franklin and PBS off book this episode of crash course was filmed in the doctor Cheryl C Kinney crash course studio with the help of all of these awesome people and our equally fantastic graphics team is thought cafe

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