Single Idea 5239

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

Full Idea

When people speak of justice we see that they all mean that kind of state of character that disposes them to perform just acts, and behave in a just manner, and wish for what is just.

Gist of Idea

When people speak of justice they mean a disposition of character to behave justly


Aristotle (Nichomachean Ethics [c.334 BCE], 1129a07)

Book Reference

Aristotle: 'Ethics (Nicomachean)', ed/tr. ThomsonJ A K/TredennickH [Penguin 1976], p.171

A Reaction

No remark shows more clearly that for the Greeks morality is a matter of character, rather than of actions or rules. This doesn't totally disagree with Plato's 'Republic', where justice turns out to be harmony in an individual person.