Conception of Virtue
Aristotle’s conception of virtue in nicomachean ethics is really vast. every art and inquiry and similarly every action and pursuit is thought to aim at some good and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim. But certain difference is found among ends; some are activities others are products apart from the activities that produce them. Lets ageing return to the good we are seeking and ask what it can be. It seems different in different actions and arts. It is different in medicine strategy, and in the other arts likewise. What then is the good of each? Surely that for whose sake everything else is done. In medicine this is health. In strategy victory, in architecture a house. In any other sphere something else, and in every action and pursuit the end: for it is for the sake of this that all man do whatever else they do. So the argument has lay a different course reached the same point, but we must try to state this even more clearly. Since there are evidently more than one end and we choose same of these [e.g wealth, flutes and in general instrument] for the sake of something else, clearly not all ends are final ends but the chief good is evidently something final therefore if there is only one final end this will be what we are seeking and. If there are more than one, the most final of these will be what we are seeking. Now we call that which is in itself worthy of pursuit more final than that which is worthy of pursuit for the sake of something else; and that which is never desirable for the sake of something else more finer than the more desirable ones. We must consider it, however in the light not only of our conclusion and our premisses but also of what is commonly said about it; for with a true view all the data harmonize, but with a take one of the facto soon clash. Now goods have been divided into three classes and some are described as external, others as relating to soul or to body, we call those that relate to most properly and truly goods and physical actions and activities we class as relating to soul . therefore our account must be sound at least according to this view, which in an old one and agreed on by philosophers. It is correct also in that we identify the end with certain actions and activities. For thus it falls among goods of the soul and not among external good another belief which harmonizes with our account is that the happy man lives well and does well; for we have practically defined happiness as a sort of good life and good action the characteristics that the looked for in happiness seem also all of them to belong to what we have defined happiness as being. With those who identify happiness with virtue or some one virtue our account is in harmony for to virtue belongs virtuos activity. But it makes, perhaps, no small difference whether we place the chief good in possession or in use, in state of mind or in activity. For the state of mind may exist without producing any good result as in a man who is asleep or in some other way quiet inactive, but the activity cannot for one who has will of necessity be acting and acting well. And as in the Olympics, it is not the most beautiful and the strongest that are crowned but those who compete [for it is some of these that are victorious], so those who act to win, and good things of life. Yet evidently as we said, it needs the external goods as well; for it is impossible or not easy, to do noble acts without the proper equipment in many actions we use friend and riches and political power as instrument and there are some things the lack of things which takes the luster from happiness, as good birth goodly children beauty for the man who is very ugly in appearance seems to need this sort of prosperity in addition for which reason some identify happiness with good fortune though others identify it with virtue.