Single Idea 5149

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 1. Virtue Theory / b. Basis of virtue]

Full Idea

Virtue is divided into classes in accordance with differentiations of the soul. Some are called 'intellectual' (e.g. wisdom, understanding, practical reason), others are called 'moral' (e.g. liberality or temperance). The latter are virtues of character.

Gist of Idea

The two main parts of the soul give rise to two groups of virtues - intellectual, and moral


Aristotle (Nichomachean Ethics [c.334 BCE], 1103a04)

Book Reference

Aristotle: 'Ethics (Nicomachean)', ed/tr. ThomsonJ A K/TredennickH [Penguin 1976], p.90

A Reaction

Aristotle arrives at a rather sharp division, and hence a sharp division between two virtuous lifestyles, the social and the intellectual. His only overlap is practical reason ('phronesis'). My vision of the good life (and the soul) is more integrated.