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Ehyenhrn Essay, Research Paper

According to Aristotle the definition of political success means the general happiness of the citizenry. Aristotle belief that molding excellent character within the citizenry is the first and most important step towards solidifying the happiness of the state as a whole.In developing political theory Aristotle begins by addressing issues of personal character on a microscopic level believing that in turn this will assist the state on a macroscopic level. Developing character or as Aristotle refers to it, human excellence is an activity of the soul, rather than the physical body. Aristotle refers to the cultivation of human excellence as an activity of the soul because on a spiritual level he believes the soul to be the whole of an individual, similar to his belief that on the political level the state is the whole of a group of citizens. Aristotle suggest that a means to strengthen the formation of character among the very young is vital for the future of the nation and both men believe that public interest and private virtue are interdependent.To Aristotle there are two types of excellences, intellectual excellence, which according to Aristotle is gained and cultivated from teaching, and moral excellence, which is the result of habit. Intellectual excellence is acquired only through time and experience and moral excellence is acquired through practice. Exhibiting these two excellences is the groundwork for reaching the good life. According to Aristotle we come to a point of excellence by going after an intermediate state of pleasure and pain. There is both an excessive and defective level of actions and passions, true excellence is the state of being able to self moderate one s intake of pleasure and tolerate a certain level of pain. To reach eudaimonia one must live their entire life in a constant balanced pursuit of the virtues Aristotle mentions as those which are worthy of deriving true happiness (i.e.- courage, moderation, justice, honor, generosity, pleasure etc. etc.). .A nation as a whole has no hope to achieve eudaimonia unless its constituents have achieved this level of excellence. The second reason Aristotle sees character building as crucial in the rise of an excellent state is because it is a process, which requires habituation and practice. According to Aristotle habituation and practice are invaluable traits in the pursuit of eudaimonia. Aristotle states that no moral excellences arise in us by nature, rather we are adapted by nature to receive them, and through habituation and practice we perfect the virtues of excellence.by becoming a master of the proper virtues through habituation could one achieve excellence.He talks of how virtue is divided into moral and intellectual virtue. Excellence of character deals with the “good life” and happiness. People are concerned with their character and getting the golden mean in life.

Virtue to Aristotle is interpreted as the excellence of an object and that the object will perform it s function effectively. This goes for people as well. For example a “virtuous” teacher will successfully teach their students information they need to comprehend in order to go forward with their education. Aristotle divides human virtue into two types. One is moral virtue and the other, intellectual.Philosophic wisdom, understanding and practical wisdom would be considered being intellectual virtue. Liberality and temperance, on the other hand, are known as moral virtue. Virtue is also a state of character that is concerned with choice with the mean.The good life is a life of happiness. Aristotle says such a life can be achieved by excellence in the two areas of virtueHappiness must have two concepts included to fit Aristotle s definition. Someone must exercise their thought of reason. He calls this “activity of soul.” Happiness also must have quality in the performance of the virtue. Happiness is the chief good that everyone wishes to accomplish. Happiness is self-sufficient and something final that is desirable to everyone. Aristotle argued that the goal of human beings is happiness, and that we achieve happiness when we fulfill our function.Happiness is something that must be aligned with perfect virtue. This also goes along with the excellence of character. If someone is to have excellence of character they want or try to be happy and have the “good life”. If they achieve this then they will have the excellence of character.Aristotle also states that virtue must be a state of character because of a persons desire to act in a way that would ensure that golden mean. Virtue, excellence, the mean, the good life, happiness and character are all interrelated within each other to be happy with life and achieve the golden mean. Aristotle explains his relation between Ethics and Politics. Aristotle claims that the science of politics can determine peoples roles and directs their development as a person and believes that for this reason is “the good of man”.. Political Science aims at the highest of all goods that can be taken or aquired by action. Sciences should be studied where citizens can learn all they can and get everything they can out of it. Aristotle declared the human being as the “rational animal” whose function is to reason.Morally virtuous people base their life on finding the “golden mean.” Aristotle argues how the good life is a life of happiness and that everyone is aiming for that. Happiness, explained by Aristotle, is the chief good desirable to everyone. Excellence of character is achieved when someone has taken part in the good life and is truly happy.


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