Single Idea 5250

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

Full Idea

There are three kinds of states of character to be avoided: vice, 'akrasia' and brutishness.


'akrasia' is weakness of will (incontinence, lack of control)

Gist of Idea

The three states of character to avoid are vice, 'akrasia' and brutishness


Aristotle (Nichomachean Ethics [c.334 BCE], 1145a16)

Book Reference

Aristotle: 'Ethics (Nicomachean)', ed/tr. ThomsonJ A K/TredennickH [Penguin 1976], p.226

A Reaction

The three are distinguished by the state of their reason: vice exhibits bad reason, akrasia exhibits right reason (but no control), and brutishness exhibits an absence of reason. A good distinction, which should be used to judge criminals.