Aristotle Essay Research Paper The primary concern — страница 2

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the last section of Wilson’s essay, Character and Policy, there is a great deal of similarity between the conclusions made by Wilson and Aristotle in regards to the necessary steps to be followed in order to eliminate contemporary problems in government. Both Wilson and Aristotle suggest that a means to strengthen the formation of character among the very young is vital for the future of the nation and both men believe that public interest and private virtue are interdependent. Wilson states that through the simple fact that social problems exist, the government is forced to acknowledge that defects in character are partly responsible and therefore are obligated to commit themselves to passing legislation that would resolve these issues. What is interesting about the

similarities between Wilson’s and Aristotle’s writings is the fact that both men made their respective conclusions after having the democratic political structure play an important role in the lives of both men. Which leads to the hypothesis that perhaps character degradation is a natural result of letting the common man play too big a role in politics. ?????The similarities between Wilson and Aristotle’s conclusion towards the relationship between character cultivation and the maintenance just, free, and orderly political system show the incredible work that Aristotle did during his time. Over 2000 years after Aristotle’s death his theories are being shown as accurate in modern society.??????? To Aristotle there are two types of excellences, intellectual excellence,

which according to Aristotle is gained and cultivated from teaching, and moral excellence, which is the result of habit. Intellectual excellence is acquired only through time and experience and moral excellence is acquired through practice. Exhibiting these two excellences is the groundwork for reaching the good life. According to Aristotle we come to a point of excellence by going after an intermediate state of pleasure and pain. There is both an excessive and defective level of actions and passions, true excellence is the state of being able to self moderate one’s intake of pleasure and tolerate a certain level of pain. Good character is seen as important to Aristotle for three main reasons and will be discussed in detail in the body of this paper. Aristotle believes the

cultivation of character is imperative for three main reasons. The first reason Aristotle believes cultivating a strong character is crucial is because if a citizen is not living a well-balanced life in pursuit of the most excellent virtues, he will never achieve the good life or eudaimonia. To reach eudaimonia one must live their entire life in a constant balanced pursuit of the virtues Aristotle mentions as those which are worthy of deriving true happiness (i.e.- courage, moderation, justice, honor, generosity, pleasure etc. etc.). Aristotle’s view, as a political theorist, of achieving national excellence was based on establishing a constitution that would enable the polis as a whole to achieve eudaimonia. Reaching eudaimonia on an individual level is crucial from a

political standpoint because a state is only as worthy as its constituents are. A nation as a whole has no hope to achieve eudaimonia unless its constituents have achieved this level of excellence. The second reason Aristotle sees character building as crucial in the rise of an excellent state is because it is a process, which requires habituation and practice. According to Aristotle habituation and practice are invaluable traits in the pursuit of eudaimonia. Aristotle states that no moral excellences arise in us by nature, rather we are adapted by nature to receive them, and through habituation and practice we perfect the virtues of excellence. It is only by habit and practice that we are able to perfect the virtues that make us well rounded citizens. According to Aristotle

there are many ways to fail but few to succeed, and only by becoming a master of the proper virtues through habituation could one achieve excellence. Aristotle’s believes a good constitution is vital because the way in which the legislators draft the constitution forms the habits of the people. The third way in which we can see the value Aristotle places in character development lies within the way in which he relates the importance of educating the youth with the development of the state. Aristotle lived in Athens towards the end of the Peloponnesian wars, the vicious internal tensions within Greece revealed the inadequacies of both the radical democracy of Athens and the communal/democratic/oligarchic/militaristic government of Sparta. Because of the deficiencies of the