Write TWO paragraphs of at least FIVE SENTENCES each.
In the first paragraph, explain Aristotle’s idea of virtue. In the second paragraph, use the idea of virtue to analyze a moral dilemma or conflictual situation.
1: In explaining Aristotle’s idea of virtue, you may want to discuss key concepts such as, what is the difference between intellectual and moral virtue, how do you learn virtue, and how is it different from other forms of learning, what is the mean, what are the passions and how do they connect to pain/pleasure and the virtues. To answer this question with maximum success, you really need to show me that you understand the text of the Nicomachean Ethics, not merely my handouts or resources on the Internet. In other words, you need to cite and then put in your own words what these ideas mean, and then put in your own words how they fit together as an ethical philosophy.
:Come up with an example of a moral dilemma or conflictual situation and analyze it in terms of virtues. For your dilemma/example, you could think back to your example of a situation where you wanted to do the right thing but couldn’t or wanted to stop doing the wrong thing but couldn’t. You could also pick a different personal dilemma like lying, pursuing study or work that you don’t care about, moments of cowardice/courage, difficulty controlling desires. You could also pick something more public and political like education policy or drug policy. If you choose a personal example, the question will be: what virtues and vices are in play in this situation? You’ll need to explain what a virtue is, where it came from, and how it works. Are some virtues conflicting with others? How would these virtues cause you to act in this situation? Or, how would the lack of certain virtues cause you to act in this situation? If you choose a political example, the question will be: what virtues should be promoted by an education (or drug, or criminal justice, or technology, etc) policy? Which virtues should be emphasized and promoted? Why?
TIPS: -Make sure your example is specific and non-ridiculous. Specificity will make your writing better, since you’ll have more to write about (you might even consider citing a news article or policy document that makes your example specific)— it is not easy to write about the topic of “lying in general,” rather than a specific example of lying. Put an asterisk next to your name for an extra point. Non-ridiculous means don’t talk about examples like “my brother runs home and says he just killed somebody, and I have to decided whether to hide him.” -Considering BOTH sides of an argument makes your analysis better: so if you argue that a certain famous person in the news is manifesting a virtue of courage, then also consider whether their actions might be in danger of tipping over into an excess or deficiency, or whether there might be another virtue that is more important to promote.