Single Idea 5848

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

Full Idea

If one used strength, health, wealth and strategic expertise well, one might do the greatest possible good and if badly the greatest possible harm; this is a problem common to all good things, except virtue.

Gist of Idea

All good things can be misused, except virtue


Aristotle (The Art of Rhetoric [c.350 BCE], 1355b)

Book Reference

Aristotle: 'The Art of Rhetoric', ed/tr. Lawson-Tancred,H.C. [Penguin 1991], p.69

A Reaction

Of course, this may just be a tautology about virtue, rather than an empirical observation. However, in 'Ethics' he tries to describe a state of mind (essentially one of harmony) which could never result in misuse.