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In Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle starts by explaining why people do what they do Every action is the means to a greater end Each end in turn can be seen as a means to an even greater end A man makes horse shoes the means so he can shoe his horse the end He shoes his horse the means so he can ride into town the end So it goes until the ultimate end is reached happiness He is careful to explain that not all of these acts are good and just saying we must examine them To fall short of the end or to exceed it is potentially fatal and so moderation is the answer By acting always in moderation a person is sure to be just and temperate and so is sure to be virtuous In order to know how to be virtuous we must know how to identify virtuous characteristics Each virtue has two vices the Philosopher claims one excess and one deficiency Courage has foolhardiness as its excess and cowardliness has its deficiency just as confidence has arrogance and shyness as its vices Some acts by definition have no moderation These acts include murder wrongful killing theft wrongful taking and rape wrongful sex Anything not wrong by definition however must be done in moderation Measuring moderation is not a scientific venture and varies from person to person as is evident with Milo and his meat A big man Milo eats more meat than a young girl does for example Seeking and sticking to moderation will lead to a virtuous life and is the only way to be truly happy in the end Aristotle makes a strong clear argument as to the definition of virtue and happiness His argument is so strong that one is inclined to favor it at first glance However upon deeper examination his theories have glaring holes and a questionable inability to adapt causing the value of his arguments
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