Nicomachean Ethics – The Most Effective Historical And Philosophical Work Of Ethics

Nicomachean Ethics is recognized as Aristotle’s best work regarding ethics. It is assumed to be named after either his son or his father. This is because they are both named Nicomachus. However, the fact that his son was too young while Aristotle came up with this work, favors the father. The theme of this piece highlights the question of how men should best live. This issue had been previously explored in a piece named Plato by Aristotle’s teacher. In response to Plato, Nicomachean suggested that theoretical philosophy had been turned into human questions, while only practical philosophy could best appeal to the human experiences. Precisely, ethics involves more of the practical part of human life as opposed to theoretical. Bearing in mind that it is the primary subject, ethics is, hence, not accurately appealed to by the theoretical work of Plato. In a better presentation, Aristotle referred to Nicomachean as a study to create good living rather than a contemplation about good living. It is for this aspect in particular that Nicomachean has been globally considered to be the most effective historical and philosophical works of ethics. It has overwhelming impact upon Europeans. This made it a critical contribution in the development of the modern philosophy, law, and theology among the Europeans.

In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle argues that the first fundamental approach of establishing what is good and just, is finding out what is roughly agreed to be true by the people of best up-bringing and experience in history, then, begin to build on from that point to a higher contemplation and application. This point is further expounded by suggesting that the highest good for humans is what they understand to be the highest practical experience of their thinking. This means that an individual’s best experience depends on the previous best. This way, the new encounter will have reached the tip of their understanding of best experiences regardless of what the environment has to offer. If there are several options of virtue, then, the best automatically becomes the happiest. This is because happiness in this case is considered to be the ongoing stable dynamic that makes the human soul complete and perfect. According to this argument, an excellent person is one who is good at living life. Such humans have the ability to create good and beautiful things while living their lives. In addition, Aristotle has described such people as serious humans who are principled with virtues that involve reason. This can be studied in both thought and speech. In his definition, ethics refers to the aspect that creates a virtuous character, which is critically necessary for ultimate happiness (Aristotle et al. 29). To break down the process of ethic achievement, Aristotle has described various fundamental steps. To begin with, observing righteous actions continuously helps to develop the right habits. The repetition of proper actions is the main process of coming up with an influential mental system that facilitates the spirit of good will. Sequentially, this leads to a habitual character that supports stable actions throughout.

I agree with Aristotle’s approach and think it is a valid ethical system because it does not equate character with habit. The main differentiation element is consciousness. Character involves making conscious choices, which are influenced by a strong sense of beliefs and values. On the contrary, a habit involves making particular choices out the unconscious consistency. Change of character takes a lengthy process of adoption while changing a habit only takes an alteration of patterns that are regularly observed. However, good habits are considered to be a precondition for good character, as they are acquired by the human system with time. This is facilitated by the environment, as long period of experience helps to create new personal beliefs and values required to come up with character. Aristotle goes ahead and narrows to the daily life experiences to find out the most praiseworthy virtues in life. This was with the aim of trying to define what best character is made of and pronounce it as an ethical rule. However, he found out that there are various types of virtues, of which some are dependent on others. Such virtues include courage. It is one of his findings that most of the publicly accepted people as good people are courageous enough to express their goodwill. However, the virtue of courage is found to be dependent on that of intellect, as the courageous are expected to express themselves in a particular acceptable manner. For this reason, Aristotle decides to highlight the theme of intellect in his description of ethics and its application to the human experiences. It is an inevitable fact that without wisdom, it is nearly impossible to maintain an upright relationship both socially and professionally.

Bearing in mind that the professional relationships require a strong ability to make the right choices depending on the situations at hand, it becomes an outright fact that one cannot be pronounced ethical without achieving a high level of prudence. This wisdom has been directly associated with the intellectual capacity required to meet the threshold for an ethical structure. Moral virtues are also accommodated in the irreducible minimum of principles required to come up with an upright and ethical character. The engagement in the deeper part of these studies required a proper research of the theoretical approaches regarding the different types of virtues and their intersection. Up to this point, the Nicomachean Ethics was not different from that of Plato. However, in its practical application, the theoretical knowledge regarding intellect and other virtues is adjusted fit in the modern society and promote the creation of a good life.

In conclusion, the Aristotle came up with books on Nicomachean Ethics to guide people on how to apply knowledge and other theoretical virtues in creating a good life. In his definition, Aristotle suggests that good living can only be described by humans with regard to their experiences. It is through Nicomachean Ethics that the world was transformed from contemplating good living to actualizing the act of living a good life. Through its principles and studies, wisdom has been unearthed to boost human intellect and create a better society. Th ethical virtues lead to a distinction between character and habits, where character is found to be superior, as it involves beliefs and external values. Habits on the other hand involve the pattern of events and choices.

16 December 2021
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