Nicomachean Ethics - Book II Summary & Analysis

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Book II Summary and Analysis

Aristotle takes up the subject of the nature of virtue. There are two types of virtue as he defines it, virtue of thought and virtue of character. (p. 18) These correspond to their origins. Virtue of thought comes about through teaching, while virtue of character is brought out through habit. This virtue of character is a capacity that all people are born with, Aristotle writes, and by exercising this capacity for virtue like a harpist practices a performance, a person develops a virtuous character. For this reason, he suggests, it is vitally important that virtuous behavior be practiced from the youngest age.

Aristotle looks at the type of habituation that should be desired. Here again he warns against looking for too precise a definition, as it is impossible and indeed not required to make specific definitions. He draws an analogy...

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This section contains 1,173 words
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Buy the Nicomachean Ethics Study Guide
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