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Virtue and Reason in Plato and Aristotle$
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A.W. Price

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199609611

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199609611.001.0001

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Aristotle on Virtue

Aristotle on Virtue

(p.112) (p.113) B 2 Aristotle on Virtue
Virtue and Reason in Plato and Aristotle

A. W. Price

Oxford University Press

Aristotle places ethical virtues as qualities of a level of the soul that can respect reason but not reason in its own right. This fits his locating of pathē (‘affections’ or ‘emotions’) within the same stratum; this stratum does not contain beliefs, though emotions often connect with beliefs in the rational soul. He argues for a unity of the virtues that does not identify them, but requires possessing them all if one is to count fully as possessing any one. This fits with the role of practical wisdom, and an assumption that a man cannot act badly because he possesses some virtue. Such a unity can be defended, once we appreciate that all virtues are oriented towards an agent’s acting well.

Keywords:   virtue, pathos, emotion, affection, courage, unity, mean, Müller

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