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Word Count: 506
Aristotle in his Nicomachean Ethics Book II Chapter 1 suggests that activities in which we participate shape the characteristics of our personality and our personality determines what we do an ongoing process of reciprocity At the time Aristotle wrote this book in 350 BC he was well aware of the work of his contemporary Hippocrates who had been dead for 20 years Hippocrates had more pragmatically contemplated the same problem and had divided the human personality into four general categories the humors of choleric phlegmatic melancholic and sanguine The purpose of Aristotles intellectual investigation was to instill the ideas of personal morality and virtue and then hold others to these presumably our standards While this has appeal it belies the complexity of human behavior and the right to judge others It also assumes one person can correct perceived flaws in another as in some grandiose Pygmalion project While Aristotles idea has great merit when applied providing a safe and nurturing environment for a child to properly develop it fails to address the fact that differences in the rational wants beliefs needs and actions between individuals are not grounds for correcting perceived flaws The observed differences make an individual who he or she is Attempting to change them will result in failure Further attempting corrective action is based on the false assumption that someone can recreate another in his own image Perhaps this may be marginally possible with DNA cloning but even this seems highly unlikely It is obvious in a modern society that some reasonable level of conformity to the laws holding the fabric together is required but beyond modest adherence individuality abounds as well it should Peoples actions are governed by the basics of reproduction survival necessity fear achievement recognition power service and revenge With the expansion of democracy in this century and the idea of individual equality there comes an ideological extension that people are alike and should behave accordingly This can be
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