Single Idea 4388

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / f. The Mean]

Full Idea

The doctrine of the mean does not require the doctrine of moderation: if I say we should drink lots of alcohol once a week, but you propose a little each day, your view is more in line with moderation, but we can agree on the doctrine of the mean.

Gist of Idea

One drink a day is moderation, but very drunk once a week could exhibit the mean


comment on Aristotle (Nichomachean Ethics [c.334 BCE], 1106b16) by J.O. Urmson - Aristotle's Doctrine of the Mean p.162

Book Reference

'Essays on Aristotle's Ethics', ed/tr. Rorty,Amélie Oksenberg [University of California 1980], p.162

A Reaction

So two people could agree on the doctrine, but end up behaving differently. This is important for virtue theory. In a moral dilemma there might be several right things that could be done.