Single Idea 5161

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

Full Idea

It is easy to get angry - anyone can do that - but to feel or act towards the right person to the right extent at the right time for the right reason in the right way - that is not easy, and it is not everyone that can do it.

Gist of Idea

To make one's anger exactly appropriate to a situation is very difficult


Aristotle (Nichomachean Ethics [c.334 BCE], 1109a26)

Book Reference

Aristotle: 'Ethics (Nicomachean)', ed/tr. ThomsonJ A K/TredennickH [Penguin 1976], p.109

A Reaction

This shows clearly that Aristotle's doctrine of the mean is NOT the same as the virtue of temperance (as Nietzsche seemed to think). Appropriate anger could be very forceful indeed, and bravery might be quite extreme in a particular crisis.