Moral Virtue is the Mean between Two Extremes – Essay Example

The paper "Moral Virtue is the Mean between Two Extremes" is a great example of a philosophy essay.
For Aristotle moral values such as temperance, justice and courage are part of an individual’s social behaviour and should be dealt with as complex social skills that should be mastered in order to achieve success. For an individual, the satisfaction of a good life comes mostly from the relationship with society and the individuals who form it. Life becomes more fruitful if an individual applies moral principles in each particular situation, thus learning how to skillfully master some general principles and sharpen his/her sense of practicality.
Moral virtue represents for Aristotle ‘the golden way’ that unites and tempers two extremes which characterize human nature: excess and insufficiency. Aristotle implies that every person should carefully analyze the circumstances of each situation and apply this advice, seek an even solution. What is important is finding a mean of solving a situation, not necessarily by following blindly the general moral principles, but by carefully equilibrating one’s hopes and desires in relation to the social demands.
Aristotle suggests that circumstances dictate and sometimes even stand as an excuse for our behaviour, but passion should not influence the core values of courage or boldness, depending on the case. Emotions and passions cannot be silenced and they do shape our life as humans, but the deliberation over a situation in a reasonable manner grants, if not always a clear solution, at least a better and, certainly ethical, aim in life; that aim is to make the best of our ‘practical reason’ that we can only acquire by learning how to act far from anxiety and pure instinct, under the influence of ethical values.