Selections from Aristotle and Nicomachean Ethics



Selections from Aristotle and Nicomachean Ethics


Out of the four readings in epistemology, the best primary source is the document that contains selections from Aristotle and Nicomachean Ethics. The document presents Aristotle’s views regarding virtues. In summary, the text argues that a virtue is a character or trait of mind that assist human beings to do good in life and as result, live a life that is in agreement with reason. From the information presented in the text, virtue can be categorized into two: moral and intellectual. Throughout the text, attention is given to moral virtues, which is not considered simply as a miscellaneous collection. The text argues that for a person to be described as virtuous, he must possess the ideal character traits, which are derived from internal tendencies that occur naturally. However, they require being nurtured. According to the text, the traits become stable the moment they have been established.

Justification of the Choice-selections from Aristotle and Nicomachean Ethics

The selected primary source is the best because it presents knowledge from several sources. For instance, intuitive knowledge is presented and takes various forms including feelings and emotions. Authoritative knowledge is presented by making reference to book one and two of Nicomachean Ethics. Additionally, the reasoning presented in this text provides a logical source of knowledge. Finally, empirical knowledge is presented through several demonstrable and objective facts. By combining different sources of knowledge, the text successfully argues that for a person to understand ethics, he must first possess virtues. Studying ethics is facilitated by application of practical reason. Moreover, the actions yielded should be in line with ethical principles.  A person would not be inclined to consent to ethical arguments and logic is he fails to live virtuously. This demonstrates practical reason’s imperative.

The Relevance of the Text on the Issue of Knowledge-selections from Aristotle and Nicomachean Ethics

Although this particular primary source focuses more on self-knowledge, it presents useful information regarding the role that knowledge performs in human life. In particular, the Nicomachean Ethics underscores the significance of both self-knowledge and knowledge. Additionally, the source presents a general classical view of virtue. According to Aristotle, the need for an individual to conduct himself according to virtues is motivated by his integral part of nature rather than by external cultural and societal constraints. The information presented in it would be helpful when comparing classical and modern virtue conceptions.

Additionally, the text alludes to the idea of the unity of virtues. It explains the way they reinforce each other. Most theories relating to virtue ethics have been constructed based on the knowledge presented by Aristotle. It asserts that for a person to be virtuous, he must possess ideal character traits. Though the text does not present universal principles that should be applied in specific moral situations, it deals with a broad range of questions. For instance, it presents a view of what should be considered as a good life. Additionally, it explores proper values that should be upheld in the society or family. Given that the topic of what constitutes happiness has been widely debated among philosophers, this particular primacy source serves to provide a good starting point in the arguments. The source identifies a man’s happiness in relation to the role or function that properly suits him. The text makes it clear that the function must be unique to human beings. Accordingly, their function must be in line with man’s rational thinking.