Aristotle’s Virtue Ethics [5:15]


This comprehensive overview of Aristotle’s Virtue Ethics is a great introduction to the subject.   The video, maybe a little too quickly, covers what a virtue is, the Golden Mean, the object of happiness for justifying morality, the question of ‘why be moral?’, and how we might become virtuous by practicing virtuous actions.  The video also briefly compares Virtue Ethics to other theories that focus on rules, oughts, social norms, and other external requirements and moral objects.

Discussion Questions

  • What is a ‘virtue’ or a ‘vice’?  And what is the Golden Mean?
  • How does happiness, or eudaimonia, play into ethics for Aristotle?
  • Why be moral?  What is the reward for being virtuous?
  • How does one form a virtuous habit or character?
  • Can science play a role in discovering which habits are virtuous and lead to happiness?

Keywords: philosophy, Aristotle, character, habit, virtue, ethics, moral theory, happiness, flourishing


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