Single Idea 4386

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / e. Character]

Full Idea

For Aristotle there are six possible states of character: heroic excellence, excellence, self-control, lack of self-control, badness of character, and brutishness.

Gist of Idea

Character can be heroic, excellent, controlled, uncontrolled, bad, or brutish


report of Aristotle (Nichomachean Ethics [c.334 BCE], 1145a15) by J.O. Urmson - Aristotle's Doctrine of the Mean p.158

Book Reference

'Essays on Aristotle's Ethics', ed/tr. Rorty,Amélie Oksenberg [University of California 1980], p.158

A Reaction

The two extremes are odd, but the distinction between bad and brutish is interesting, and the distinction between control and true excellence is vital (pace Kant).