Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics

What kind of thing is virtue?


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Aristotle considers three possibilities for the nature of virtue and its relationship to the soul: namely, passions, faculties and states of character. Passions are emotions, faculties are those things which make emotions possible and states of character are those things which can be of reference to the passions. Aristotle settles on the latter by a process of elimination, saying that we are not judged to be good or evil purely on account of our emotional states or even on our capacity to have emotional states.


Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics, Book II