Aristotle’s Main Focuses in Virtues and Ethics
Aristotle’s main focus in moral philosophy was the human character, and what it takes for an individual to become a good person (Kemerling, G., 2002). He gave the thought that all human activities are carried out for a reason, having an aim, and mostly this aim is to achieve some form of happiness in life. But this happiness cannot be acquired through wealth or knowledge, because even those people who possess these elements are found to be unhappy.
According to this great philosopher, it is essential for human beings to perform well in anything they do, and the ability to behave in certain ways, as per the situation. For him, a happy person will show a personality that is well-balanced between reasons and desires, and a moderate character. He declared that “virtue is its own reward”, and true happiness can be attained only through the fostering of virtues that eventually complete human life.
Musonius Rufus, another great philosopher, in relation to the status of women in society, stated that both men and women had reasons for everything they did, and they also possessed inclination towards virtues. He believed that the foremost duty of a woman was towards the household, in controlling slaves, and running chores in the best way possible for the welfare of the family. This would include her character traits, such as being loving, just, and care for her husband and family with her own hands. He says that a woman should learn something of philosophy, which would increase her virtue and modesty.
Aristotle was of the belief that men are superior to women in every way, even by nature, because it is through the male that the female is able to even reproduce. He gave a woman an inferior position, with the reasoning of her being less capable naturally, and being dependent on the male for everything (“Greek Philosophy on the Inferiority of Women”). According to him, women in social context or in any profession are dependant on man for help and support. Hence, their position remains subordinate as compared to males.
Chuang Tzu, yet another philosopher, argued that the processes of nature unified everything. Humanity and nature should be closely linked, rather than humans imposing their rules upon nature and its course. He gave the notion of interdependence of things, that one thing always causes changes in another.
According to Aristotle, everything in the world we need to know about is associated with the science of Physics. He says that nature is an inner principle of change and being at rest. Nature is contrasted with active powers. Plants and animals all have a nature in the sense of an internal causal principle, which determines how they will behave. Chinese philosophy has the principles of interfusion between man and nature, whereas the Western philosophers such as Aristotle think that man is natural himself. Aristotle gave his theory that all motion and change caused by nature is due to God’s commands.