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What is Virtue? | Book Review Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle

A lot of people are happy to note that virtue is lacking in our society, and we have a lot of work to do if we want a virtuous society. But, I hear only a few voices offering a solution to this problem. Only a few people are calling people to act virtuously and live a life of virtue. The Vital Masculinity podcast is doing great work to promote that, but sadly not many others are. Not many people are answering the basic questions like “What is virtue?” or “How do I become a virtuous person?”

A New Translation of the Nichomachean Ethics
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What is Virtue According to Aristotle?

Aristotle defines the mean as the proper way of being between two extremes in great detail in his Nicomachean Ethics. Virtue, according to Aristotle, and many Greek philosophers, is an excellence in morality. Here’s what Aristotle has to say about excellence:

“Excellence, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean, relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it.”

-Aristotle

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How to Be a Virtuous Person

If you want to be a virtuous person, you should learn to seek the Golden Mean. But, how do you do that? Well, it’s not easy, but it can be done if you are ready to learn and put in the work. In this book, Aristotle explains that you have to do what is proper to the situation. That requires knowing what the situation is, and it means you have to know how to respond. This takes Practical Wisdom, which you can learn more about here.

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“Regarding practical wisdom we shall get at the truth by considering who are the persons we credit with it. Now it is thought to be the mark of a man of practical wisdom to be able to deliberate well about what is good and expedient for himself, not in some particular respect, e.g., about what sorts of things conduce to health or to strength, but about what sorts of thing conduce to the good life in general.”

-Aristotle, Book VI of the Nichomachean Ethics

236. Materialism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly Conversation of Our Generation

According to Wikepedia, "Materialism is a form of philosophical monism that holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental states and consciousness, are results of material interactions. According to philosophical materialism, mind and consciousness are by-products or epiphenomena of material processes (such as the biochemistry of the human brain and nervous system), without which they cannot exist. This concept directly contrasts with idealism, where mind and consciousness are first-order realities to which matter is subject and material interactions are secondary." Valid Concerns and Good Points At first, it seems to make sense. Much of what we encounter is material. Our food, light, furniture, etc. is all material. It would be easy at first glance to think everything boils down to what is material. But, does that really comport with what we experience and know? Errors of Materialism Materialism leaves out a large chunk of the human experience. First, it fails, like naturalism, to fully account for the supernatural and the spiritual. And, in doing so, it denies free will and many other parts of our experience that are products of the spirit. Also, materialism doesn't allow for the abstract truths we know to be. Moral truths, natural laws, beauty, and even some mathematical truths can't exist if everything is material. So, materialism fails to explain all that we know about the world. Corrections There is more to the world than just the material. It doesn't fit with our understanding of the world. We experience more than just the material in art and music, as well as abstract concepts. We also experience the phenomenon of free will, which is impossible in a materialist world. In order to fully comport with reality, we need to take into account more than material things. In order to fully experience the world, we have to take account for the non-material parts of our lives. Related Episodes in this Series What is Objective Reality? What is Subjective Reality? Unity of Subject and Object The Golden Mean for Understanding Objective and Subjective Reality Naturalism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/support
  1. 236. Materialism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
  2. 235. Naturalism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
  3. 234. The Golden Mean for Understanding Objective and Subjective Reality
  4. 233. Is Patriotism Good? | Reflections on the 4th of July
  5. 232. Unity of Subject and Object

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