The philosophical perspective of virtue ethics, specifically, eudaimonistic virtue ethics stipulates that man is innately virtuous. Virtuous traits are those of robust quality, such as kindness, generosity, and honesty – to name just a few; these are foundational traits that concern virtue ethics and lead to predictably good behavior. They are derived from inherent internal tendencies, which at first must be trained through natural experience. This is to say, the individual must learn what it is to be virtuous between two vices: deficiency and excess; for example, the distinction between cowardice and recklessness with the virtuous position being a point of courage, and the range between stinginess and prodigality to locate generosity.This process is determined by man’s distinctive function to reason: recognizing where virtue is located on a spectrum between deficiency and excess in a given situation. Initially this is deliberate for the individual, however, will eventually occur naturally as the individual experiences it for themselves – questioning how a virtuous man may react in a given situation, and engaging in discourse pertaining to moral ethics. Eudiamonsitic virtue ethics asserts that human beings have a natural inclination towards the pursuit of virtue; a desire to be virtuous – the same desire a plant or animal has to pursue ends of reproduction, humans pursue ends of virtue – this is described as eudaimonia.
Eudaimonia, as asserted by Aristotle is the pinnacle of humanity: the best kind of life lived is one which is an end in itself and a means to live by and fare well. This contends the question of whether or not there are good instrumental grounds for adopting a commitment to ethics. Ethics, as previously mentioned are recognized as the actions taken by individuals which manifest their virtue; such as, telling people the truth when there is sufficient reason to do so, or being generous when you can to those who are in need of it most. Eudaimonism bases virtues in the independent flourishment of the individual, pursuing eudaimonism through the means of virtue ethics; which requires that humans perform their distinctive function well; reason well, or to the best ability of the individual – this is what Aristotle perceives as morality: being the best one can personally be, honing in on strengths while continuously working on your weaknesses in pursuit of Eudaimonia.
That being said, eudaimonia is for the sake of itself, and not a means to seek alternative ends; but an end in itself. This brings us back to the initially contention, if eudaimonia is for the sake of itself, and the intention of the pursuit overall, the instrumental value that arises from the ethics of the pursuing eudaimonia are no longer a relevant factor to consider when distinguishing whether an individual is engaging in particular action due to instrumental or intrinsic value.