essay ethics

  • Field: English


In the Nichomachean Ethics, Aristotle develops an account of virtue based on the idea that such traits of character and thought are means between two extremes. Explain how this account of virtue works, and then apply it to his account of justice.

First, construct a dialogue map of main questions, along with Aristotle’s answers and the reasons he gives.  Articulate the most important reasons he gives for thinking that is a more adequate account of virtue generally, and of justice in particular.  Be sure to identify each point as a question, answer or reason pro or con.  Explain each point in a clear sentence.  Spell out the links between the points in a manner that clarifies how the inquiry is structured as an argument.  The lower  and upper limits on the number of nodes in your map is 10-20, and the entire map needs to be fitted onto one page.  If it doesn’t fit, then edit it.  This will force you to make judgment calls about which points are really most important.

Second, in one (minimum) to one and a half (maximum) typed, ds, page(s), explain Aristotle account of virtue as a mean and how it applies to justice. Focus on clarity and coherence of each sentence, paragraph, and the page as a whole.

When you have reconstructed the reasons that Aristotle gives, pick one and try to develop an objection to that reason.  That is, try to articulate a criticism of one of the reasons Aristotle is giving in support of an answer he is giving to a question. Add that point of criticism to the dialogue map, and be sure to clarify which point is the target of the objection by highlighting that premiss and your objection so that we can easily see where it fits into the reconstruction of the argument.

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