Aristotle And The Virtue Of Bravery Essay

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Aristotle And The Virtue Of Bravery Essay, Research Paper In this essay I will be describing the virtue of bravery. I will first define what Aristotle thinks virtue is, explain the virtue of bravery, and then finally reflect this virtue on my personal experience in the Shaw neighborhood. Aristotle breaks down virtue into four aspects which are: a state that decides in mean, consisting in a mean, the mean relative to us, which is defined by reference to reason(1107a). He also states that there are two kinds of virtue: one of thought or intellect and one of character or actions. He also states that virtue is a state of character and is achieved by habit. Aristotle uses several examples to define a the bravery virtue. He say that as humans we fear all bad things such as, bad

reputation, povery, sickness, friendlessness, and death. However he says that these things do not concern a brave person. Fearing this things are not all neccesarily bad though. Fearing something like a bad reputation is good and shows that you are decent and properly prone to shame, unlike if you do not fear this you have no feeling of disgrace. Someone who has no fear of this might be considered brave by some people. However there are some things that are wrong to fear such as poverty or sickness, things that are caused by ourselves, people who do not fear these things are not considered brave. Sometimes someone who is not fearful of things caused by ourselves may be considered brave when compared to someone who is cowardly in wartime or someone faced with losing money(1115a

10-25). Aristotle also comes to the conclusion that a brave person is only concerened with death in the finest conditions. These kind of deaths are found in war and circumstances when it is honored by cities and monarchs. Aristotle?s next step is to define a brave person?s state of character. He asks the question, What does a brave person find frightening? He answers with, a brave person is frightened by the same things any human can find irrisistible, but the difference is that he will stand firm against it until the end, and he is not frightened by things which are are not irrisistable. ?Hence whoever stands firm against the right things and fears the right things, for the right end, in the right way, at the right time, and is correspondingly confident is the brave

person.?(1115b 15-20) Aristotle then explains that a brave person aims at what is fine. What is fine to a brave person is bravery. Therefore the end is fine, since each thing is defined by its end. A brave person shows what bravery is by standing firm and through his actions. A brave person who goes to excess is one who is excessively fearless. They are excessively confident about frightening things, making them rash. Sometimes this person may be a boaster and a pretender to bravery. A rash person will act that they are fearless and appear to have qualities of the brave person but they never stand firm against anything frightening. A rash person wishes for dangers to come, but when they do he cowers, but a brave person is eager in action and keeps quiet until then. A brave person

that has deficiency is a coward. He fears the wrong things in the wrong way. He has a deficiency in confidence and he is afraid of everything, while the brave person is hopeful which is one of the ends of confidence. ?Hence the coward, the rash person and the brave person are all concerned with the same things, but have different states related to them; the others are excessive or defective but the brave person has the intermediate and right state.?(1115a 5-7) Aristotle then distinquieshes between some misconception of what most people assume bravery is, when in all actuality these are not genuine bravery; bravery of citizens, experience and expertise, emotion, hopefulness, ignorance. He says that citizen?s bravery comes first because they stand firm against dangers with the aim