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Achieving excellence in terms of Aristotles Nichomachean EthicsBefore actually focusing on the main details of Aristotles Argument we must pay careful attention to the opening remarks he makes in Book I about the nature of his inquiry The first important point that he stresses is that the study of the character of human beings is dependent on what a human being is Aristotle states that that a human is not a man that lives in isolation but a man that also lives with parents children wife and friends and fellow citizens generally since man is by nature a social and political being Humans in other words derive their identity and accordingly their moral purposes from their participation in their community from the interaction with their parents ancestors friends customs institutions and laws Because of this every ethical uncertainty or question must be resolved by taking into account the essential and political basis of human life If one is to discuss what it is that makes a man good we have to really be considering which decisions will actually benefit or make the society good Aristotle sees that individual as being a part as a part of a large and complex group of people with member of all sorts of capabilities The purpose of each individuals life is evaluated in relation to the other members of the community Although different communities live by different rules and strive for different goods is possible to reach an understanding of what moral excellence is in any community by studying what it is that constitutes effective community membershipAnother important observation made by Aristotle is the fact that to study human ethics we must focus on the world around us We must focus on the traditions of our community the accepted theories of earlier philosophers especially those most famous for their wisdom These theories we must study not so as to find inconsistencies in them but to try to
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