Single Idea 5137

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 1. Virtue Theory / a. Nature of virtue]

Full Idea

Lovers of beauty find pleasure in things that are pleasant by nature, and virtuous actions are of this kind, so that they are pleasant not only to a particular type of person but also in themselves.

Gist of Idea

Many pleasures are relative to a person, but some love what is pleasant by nature, and virtue is like that


Aristotle (Nichomachean Ethics [c.334 BCE], 1099a14)

Book Reference

Aristotle: 'Ethics (Nicomachean)', ed/tr. ThomsonJ A K/TredennickH [Penguin 1976], p.79

A Reaction

An optimistic but crucial claim that virtue is dictated by nature, and so can't just be relative to individuals. The claim that some things are 'pleasant by nature', rather than just being liked by some individuals, is controversial but appealing.