ABSTRACT

The scope of Aristotle's concerns in the area of moral virtue, coherence of his approach, and the plausibility of his answers, is unique. Aristotle's philosophy of virtue is intimately and inextricably connected with other aspects of his moral philosophy. Aristotle's moral philosophy is a discussion of the virtues (both ethical and intellectual), together with supplementary discussions of various peripheral topics (such as happiness, pleasure, friendship). Aristotle says that the really virtuous man will have practical wisdom and all the various virtues of character, and adds that one cannot acquire practical wisdom without first acquiring the virtues, for vices cause one to be deceived about what goods are really worth pursuing. Aristotle has another reason to hold that acquiring theories and principles of conduct is not what matters; he does not believe that they provide the right sort of help to people, even if the people in question had good traits of character and were otherwise receptive to moral instruction.