Single Idea 63

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

Full Idea

Virtue is a purposive disposition, lying in a mean that is relative to us and determined by a rational principle, and by that which a prudent man would use to determine it.


'Prudence' is Greek word 'phronesis', for which the translation 'practical reason' is nowadays preferred

Gist of Idea

Virtue is a purposive mean disposition, which follows a rational principle and prudent judgment


Aristotle (Nichomachean Ethics [c.334 BCE], 1107a01)

Book Reference

Aristotle: 'Ethics (Nicomachean)', ed/tr. ThomsonJ A K/TredennickH [Penguin 1976], p.101

A Reaction

Presumably the last two are getting both the theory and the practice right. Are saying that virtues finds the appropriate mean, or that virtue IS the mean? Of what?