Is A Person Virtuous If She Always Aims To Act According To The Golden Mean?
Essay Preview: Is A Person Virtuous If She Always Aims To Act According To The Golden Mean?
Report this essay
Virtue can be interpreted in many different ways. Regardless of the
interpretation we can say that virtue is the foundation of humankind. Keeping moral
experience in mind virtue helps establish a standard by which we judge and correct our own
character and behaviors. Every single virtue depends on a persons life style and the culture
they are a part of. Because we all have different beliefs of what is good or bad, our virtues or
standards are different from one another. For example, a citizen of the ancient Greek city of
Sparta would have virtues based on military values. This method of establishing virtues is
feeble because it is strict and harsh, while most virtuous life styles consist of a Golden Mean
style by Aristotle. Golden Mean advocates the idea that good conduct should consist of
some sort of mean between the borderlines of excess and deп¬Ðƒciency. I agree with Aristotle
that there is no precise equation or set of rules by which we can determine exactly where
the mean lies, and this is because the mean varies from person to person; therefore, how can
we say a person is virtuous if the Golden Mean itself is a moving target?
According to Aristotle, a person is not virtuous if he focuses on his own happiness or
pleasure, nor if he follows the same rules and orders as everyone else. (Ethics) A person is
virtuous if he acts wisely and justly. The goal of a virtuous person is always to promote
human flourishing. To be speciп¬Ðƒc, a virtuous person is not someone who practices one act
but rather someone who develops the action into a habit. A virtuous person does not have
to think about the rightness of their action because they already know that the action is
right. Once virtues are acquired they become a state of character and will become impulses.
Unfortunately it is impossible to determine whether an individual possesses these traits,
or simply appears to. In the same breath it is also not clear what constitutes as the best
combination of virtues to act according to the Golden Mean which is to act in the mean and
not goto the extremes. Aristotle believed that virtues should be developed by moderation
rather than reaching extremes. (Ethics)
Take the virtue of courage for example. It is virtuous to have courage but when you
reach the levels of extreme like cowardly or cocky and irrational, it begins to create
problems. But again, it depends on a persons culture for example п¬Ðƒghting in school school
leads to a punishment but п¬Ðƒghting in war is rewarded . So a virtue can act as ambition which
sets standards to live by, which you discipline or attempt to give your best shot to become
the best person you can be – virtuous. Virtue can also be what deп¬Ðƒnes a person as being
morally good or bad, but again it depends on an individuals cultural standards.
Virtues do not come by themselves; it is not as if you will be born with certain virtues.
Virtues take much time to develop. We usually instill and practice virtue at a young age
mostly through . You can not force virtues on someone , they are more of a personal choice.
In Book II Aristotle explains that a virtue can be learned only through constant practice and
then implies that there are no other rules by which we can learn virtue. He advocates that
the acquisition of virtue consists of learning through experience. (Ethics) For example, you
can not teach someone courage. Its something that you have to learn yourself and the only
way to do that is to face your fears head on. Its also like a quote which I heard from the
movie Matrix, ” I can only show you the door. Youre the one that has to walk through it.”
Furthermore learning virtue depends on your own personal choice .We do not become
courageous by simply learning why courage is preferable to cowardice or rashness, but
rather by choosing what courage means to us and then training ourselves towards the
choice you make. In book I Aristotle explains how happiness is an activity and not a state. He
also explains that happiness is expressed by how someone acts, not how he is.(Ethics) So we
can further more say that virtue is needed to achieve true happiness.
Let’s examine the Golden Mean and why it’s a fallacy . The Golden Mean states that
virtue exists as a mean state between the vicious extremes of excess and deп¬Ðƒciency. It was
an overgeneralization on Aristotles part in someway. The Golden Mean

Get Your Essay

Cite this page

Golden Mean And Mind Virtue. (April 3, 2021). Retrieved from