There is a difference between doing good and
An evil person can do good things
occasionally, but that does not make such an
individual a good person.
Ethics demands more than just occasional
Virtue is the predisposition to do good
things, and internal motivation that not only
does the right but also loves what is right.
Character is different from personality. How we
manifest these attributes will differ according to
our circumstances, but all need them.
Virtues are not just an internal disposition that
lead to action. They are good character traits that
result in good acts. Thus, virtue ethics involves a
belief in ethical truth.
Character ethicists are more concerned with
virtue than with virtues. It is not enough that an
individual be only courageous, fair or self-
disciplined. Virtue is not a multiple-choice affair
in which people pick and choose the virtues they
like. The goal is to be a good person.
Each person functions
on 3 different levels,
each of which
correspond to different
activities of the soul.
Each human function has its own virtue. When
appetite is kept under control, the virtue is
Spirit, when functioning correctly, manifests the
trait of courage and puts reason’s commands
into action, even in the face of resistance.
Wisdom is the virtue of our reason, and since
reason is the highest of our functions, it should
control appetite and spirit.
This virtues are ideals, exists in the world of
For Aristotle the virtues are
known through observing and
comparing actual events
Aristotle says all virtues can be
understood in the same manner.
Remorse is the midpoint between
indifference and chronic guilt.
Generosity is the mean between
prodigality (wasteful use of
resources) and miserliness.
Every virtue can be distinguished
from the “not enough” and “too
much” at the extremes.
In Aristotle approach, good character should
manifest itself in behavior, and 3 conditions
must be present before a certain behavior can
be called a good act:
First, we must understand what we are doing
and why it is good.
Second, what we do must be freely chosen.
Finally, the “action must proceed from a firm
and unchangeable character”. An honest act
is virtuous only if one does it because one is