Quote by Aristotle: “Moral excellence comes about as a result of hab...”
Excellence Comes by Habit: Aristotle on Moral Virtue
All too often we are inclined to think of excellence as the product of good genes and good fortune rather than our personal habits. The fates bestow their blessings indiscriminately and haphazardly, and the talented and successful are the lucky recipients of excellence, while the rest of us are mired in mediocrity. Those who rise to the top, the outliers , as Malcolm Gladwell calls them, were born that way, or else became that way because of a combination of heredity, privileged upbringing and opportune circumstances. Of course, as Christians, we attribute all of these factors to the providence of God and can relativize the importance of them by appealing to a heavenly hope. The situation gets trickier for us Christians when we think of moral virtue.
“Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.”.
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Intellectual and Moral Excellence: Where do they come from?
Though it was written more than 2, years ago, it offers readers today many valuable insights into human needs and conduct. Aristotle follows Socrates and Plato in taking the virtues to be central to a well-lived life. Aristotle believes that in order to live well, a proper appreciation is required, which through proper upbringing and habits, gives us the ability to see, on each occasion, which course of action is best supported by practical reason for the community as a whole. Aristotle continues, as he states:. Aristotle argues that moral virtues are not implanted in man by nature, for nothing created by nature can be made to change its direction or tendency by habit, nor are the moral virtues produced in man against nature. According to Aristotle, man is not born either moral or immoral, but he has the capacity to develop moral virtue and this capacity can only be developed through habituation. Similarly, for investors, the virtue of an investor lies in his or her prudence, among other virtues.
Aristotle was educated at Plato's academy from the age of 17 and lived and worked there for 20 years, until Plato's death. After years of travel and study, including teaching Alexander the Great, he returned to Athens and founded his own academy, the Lyceum or peripatetic school. He developed his own philosophical views, which often differed from those of Plato. For example, Aristotle claimed that the world of perceived things is the real world and that there are no perfect forms in a realm beyond. Aristotle understood the importance of observation in scientific enquiry and wrote much about cause and effect in nature especially his theory of four causes in the Physics. His writings covered biology, animal behaviour, the weather, planetary motions, stars and Gods as well as politics and ethics. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.
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