What is Ethics in Philosophy?

Ethics is the branch of Philosophy which its purpose is morality, one of the aspects of human behavior. Ethics is configured as the science of the conduct of men in society, thus, this study aims to present the ethical proposal developed by Aristotle through a bibliographical research in works that address the issue, highlighting important points to the thematic. It is still intended to highlight the main fundamental ethical concepts of virtue and happiness, as well as ethics and morals.

First, two ethics were written by Aristotle: Ethics to Eudemo that highlights some Platonic influences and Nicomachean Ethics that is the definitive version of the Aristotelian ethic since it belongs to the third period. The ethics of Aristotle, is, first of all, an ethic of happiness … but it is also an ethic of virtue since this is the means par excellence to achieve happiness. But for Aristotle what is happiness? Happiness has been the search for man in his existence, Aristotle (2006, p.37), encourages that attempt saying that the virtue that \”must be examined is human virtue, because the happiness that is sought is good and happiness human. \” However, it should be emphasized that ethics is a theme that has become habitual in everyday life, as society faces great challenges towards the end of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle will also affirm that the activity more typical of man and the one that provides the greatest happiness is theoretical contemplation: that is, wisdom. This is how ethical empiricism leads him to a themes position: happiness consists in balancing virtue, contemplation and external goods. Another important thing in the ethics of Aristotle\’s ethics was virtue. For Aristotle, virtue consists of a middle term, which does not mean mediocrity but a balance between the vices of extremes. \”Courage\” is a fair means between \”recklessness\” and \”fear\”.

Aristotle is undoubtedly one of the great philosophers of Western culture, whose influence is still in force in contemporary thought. One of his fundamental works is Politics, where you can find examples of its epistemological foundations associated with society and the city. This work also defines the parameters for the proper functioning of the ideal city, with a finite structure and size in order to ensure self-sufficiency and that everyone in the community can live well. Politics, his most recognized work, brings together a number of texts dedicated to the study of life in society and the organization of civic coexistence. In these reflections, the philosopher deals with a myriad of topics with the depth and sharpness characteristic of Aristotelian thought, for example, the basic structures of society, in which the city represents the greatest achievement, defining it as \”an association of equal beings, who aspire in common to achieve a happy and easy existence \”(Politics, VII, 8, 1328a). Likewise, the philosopher conceives man as a social animal, \”politikón zoion\”, which develops its ends within a community, of the polis, as the self-sufficient sphere of culture and happy life. Aristotle also proposes in Politics the classical theory of forms of government. Even with a polis made up of people that are neither weak nor headstrong it can still crumble. Outside forces can influence and change the people of a polis such as the Persians did with the ancient Greeks during the Greco-Persian wars. While the ancient Greeks were successful in repelling the Persians, they were forever changed. The polis, individual city states, were forced to form a loose united front to repel the Persians.

However, after the war some of the polis wanted to maintain power and formed alliance which would end up causing conflict between the two most influential city states and their allies with Sparta vs Athens in the Peloponnesian wars. Even with a polis made up of level-headed people it can still be changed from the outside and be changed.  Both Plato and Aristotle are rationalist thinkers. Both consider that true knowledge (science, or episteme) consists of intelligible knowledge of the general (and not of the particular), that is, of universal concepts (\”ideas\” for Plato, \”forms\” for Aristotle) that in both cases are immaterial, intelligible (captured by reason, not by perception), eternal and immutable. The human condition according to Plato was given within a society divided into three social classes The ruler: who should have as the main virtue the intelligence to govern. He should not have a family of his own in order to avoid selfishness and, above all, to promote justice. The warrior protectors: who should be strong, it would be who protected society. The artisan protectors this last division of society was about those who worked where craftsmen and workers stand out. Plato unlike the laws in his time, he thought that women and children should not only be treated as an object On the other hand, Plato had as an ideal a life in values, education and justice.

Personally, I support Plato\’s ideas, because I believe that an individual who has an excellent education, that values were instilled in his family, that he is a good citizen, maybe not all of us are like that but if each one of us tried to change , our society would change and we would be much better. In the aspect of politics I also agree with Plato, because I believe that today aspiring to govern do not necessarily seek a better life for all or change for good for our country, but that they seek mainly to benefit economically in the period that be in power.  In conclusion, The historyof these two philosophers, Plato and Aristotle, who with the passage of time on earth left a great legacy for humanity. His thoughts changed the perspective of ideas, educating new knowledge for humans.

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