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Honors Program
HONR 1101
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Emily McClure Nicomachean Ethics Book 2 I agree that Book 2 of Nicomachean Ethics was much smoother reading than Book 1. There are still a couple parts where I get a little bit lost with whatAristotle is saying though. But to begin, he talks about the difference between intellectual and moral virtue. He prefaces by suggesting that virtue is twofold; it can be intellectual or moral. Intellectual virtue is primarily gained by it being taught, while moral virtue is developed through practice. He says, “Both the coming-into-being and increase of intellectual virtue result mostly from teaching—hence it requires experience and time—whereas moral virtue is the result of habit” (26). This isAristotle’s most basic break down and separation of the two virtues. Essentially, he identifies intellectual virtue as the virtue having more to do with the mind and philosophy. Moral virtue, on the other hand, has more to do with one’s behaviors and actions. In order to acquire a moral virtue, we have to act.Aristotle asserts that we cannot become morally virtuous by just learning and knowing what we have to do; we have to actually do it. He conveys that these virtues are different because they are not innate in human beings, in which we have the characteristic first and then use it. Instead, we must start with the corresponding activity in order to gain that specific characteristic/virtue. He writes, “For it is not as a result of seeing many times or hearing many times that we came to have those sense perceptions [by nature]; rather, it is, conversely, because we have them that we use them, and not because we use them that we have them. But the virtues we come to have by engaging in the activities first… For as regards those things we must learn how to do, we learn by doing them” (26). For instance, if we would like to become just (which is a moral virtue), we have to begin by doing just things or doing things in a just way. By doing this, we then become a just person because one cannot be considered a just person without having ever
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