Application of Golden Mean in Nicomachean Ethics: Analytical Essay

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Video Summary: Altruism and Empathy

Natural Selection can put certain facts or guides in our brains to allow for our survival. This has to do with kindness and being nice to others. Our ancestors were nice to people so they could stay alive in hard times. While at life and death situations they fought and showed no mercy to protect themselves. This is seen today around the world. We are all taught to be nice to everyone and many people follow this idea because it helps them stay happy and alive. If your mean to people, chances are they will be mean back and could even become violent. When people become violent, it puts your life at risk. So, the key is determining our actions to allow for our survival and natural selection helps us with this step.

1. Summarize Aristotle's approach to moral philosophy by concentrating on virtue. How does he apply the golden mean in his Nicomachean Ethics?

Aristotle’s approach to philosophy concentrates mainly on Virtue. Aristotle uses character traits and virtue rather than performing a certain act to have good outcomes from the situation. Aristotle claims a person is “virtuous if they have ideal character traits.” (Internet Encyclopedia Philosophy) The character traits he most used were kindness in individuals. Kindness is derived internally inside you and once you develop certain character traits, they must remain stable in order to continue to remain virtuous. The goal of Aristotle’s virtue approach is to have people obtain stable character traits to live a good life that’s meaningful.

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Aristotle’s approach allows people to become virtuous by developing their state of thinking and their actions. Once a person develops a character trait, they need to keep that state of mind. If their mind is not stable, they cannot guarantee they have mastered the character traits. If their mind is continually stable and in the right state of being, can be said to be virtuous. A person who develops character traits over time with practice and interactions allows for their virtue to increase and excel. Once they have mastered the state of thinking, they can then move to actions. Once a person develops character traits for kindness, you tend to see a shift in their actions. If you now have those characteristics and you see a person in the real-world needing assistance, it can be provided with your help. All a person needs to do is realize their mind needs to be in a good state first before others can be assisted.

Aristotle applies the golden mean in his Ethics by talking about virtues' origin and how they are created to help us live a happy life. The goal is to achieve happiness and one can do this through obtaining character traits and virtues. In his Ethics, he talks about finding the good in a whole situation or person rather than just a few key points. The goal is to see the whole picture or a person as good instead, of focusing on all the negative character traits. The golden mean tends to be applied in his ethics as well. The golden mean “represents a balance between extremes” (Zine Articles, 2007) Aristotle wants people to find their balance in life through Nature. Many of us tend to focus too much on ourselves or spend too much time helping others. This leaves one person with relaxation and self-care while the other must deal with exhaustion and burnout. Through nature, people can find balance in their life activities and with helping others. When you have balance in your life, then life can start to be more meaningful and happiness can be achieved. People need to accept their current situations and can act on them to change it and improve their well-being. Once a person lets go of ego and arrogance, they can become happy and achieve balance through their developing character traits allowing virtue to be gained.

Works Cited

  1. Golden Mean,
  2. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy,
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