Single Idea 5875

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

Full Idea

Character (éthos), as the word itself indicates, is developed from habit (ethos).

Gist of Idea

Character (éthos) is developed from habit (ethos)


Aristotle (Eudemian Ethics [c.333 BCE], 1220a36)

Book Reference

Aristotle: 'Eudemian Ethics I,II and VIII', ed/tr. Woods,Michael [OUP 1992], p.15

A Reaction

Aristotle goes in for dubious etymologies, but this one sounds quite significant, and supports his view that habit is central to virtue. We would lose nothing in English if we said 'what are her habits?' instead of 'what is her character?'.