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Word Count: 537
In Book II of Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle tries to define virtue through the concept of the mean or intermediate point where virtue lies somewhere between two extremes Virtue is excellence not mediocrity The quarterbacks virtue enables him to throw an excellent pass although to do this he mustnt throw short of his wide receiver or overthrow the ball at any time but hit the point in between Similarly although virtue is concerned with avoiding both excess and defect in feeling and action so that in respect of its essence and the definition of its essential nature virtue is a mean nevertheless in regard to goodness and excellence it is an extreme 1107 a6 A virtuous person excels at stopping at just the right point It is impossible to define the right point in abstract terms If the extremes were definite and the right point were exactly halfway between them then it might be arrived at by means of logic However the extremes are not definite For example excessive anger can be more or less excessive There are many ways of going wrongfor evil belongs to the indeterminate as the Pythagoreans imagined 1106 b27 A quarterback can not locate the mark by finding a point halfway between throwing short and overthrowing the ball to his wide receiver for these points are not capable of being clearly defined In addition the moral mean may be more like one of the extremes than the other For example Aristotle states it is not excess recklessness which is more opposed to courage but the deficiency cowardice 1109 a2 Further the right amount varies from one person to another because it is all relative By the median of an entity I understand a point equidistant from both extremes and this point is one and the same for everybody but by the median relative to us I understand an amount neither too large nor too small and this is neither one
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