How Did Confucius And Aristotle's View On Virtue

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Chauncey N. Caffey ENGL-255-DL1 Professor Carboy June 20, 2015 Confucius and Aristotle Views on Virtue. How Do They Compare? Let’s examine the meaning of virtue. Virtue is the moral excellence of a person. A morally excellent person has a character made-up of virtues valued as good. He or She is honest, respectful, courageous, forgiving, and kind, for example. Because of these virtues or positive character traits, he or she is committed to doing the right thing no matter what the personal cost, and does not bend to impulses, urges or desires, but acts according to value of principles. Some might argue that good qualities are innate and developed through good parenting, which they are, but we are not perfect. Virtues need to be cultivated…show more content…
Confucius believed that people were born good, but their environment is what caused them to be evil and not live with virtue (Tan and Bailey 176). Aristotle did believe in a similar idea in that to folly belongs bad judgement of affairs, bad counsel, bad fellowship, bad use of one’s resources, false opinions about what is good in life (Cherry 185-207). Both Confucius and Aristotle thought that people were led astray from being a virtuous person by the wrong kind of influences in their environments. Both of them also believed to be virtuous you needed self-love. Confucius taught people to make ones’ self as good as possible. The practice of goodness needed to be sought after and made use of in one’s life. He taught that vice came from ignorance and knowledge led to virtue (Yu 323). Aristotle tried tirelessly to distinguish true self love, which can make you morally defective. A person with true self-love is able to recognize and enjoy the value of developing their rational powers which they can use to guide their decisions. They in turn acquire practical wisdom. Now that they know practical wisdom they can take pleasure in appropriate things which in turn they can avoid common vices and act as virtuous person would (Sullivan 379-382). The last similarity I would like to discuss is their belief in having friends. In Confucius’ recorded sayings he recognized the value of good, high minded companions. His motto was to associate with truly great and make friends with the most virtuous (Tan and Bailey 120). Aristotle believed that people need to associate with a group of companions who share similar interests and aims, and who provoke us to think more and to achieve a greater understanding of what we learn in life. When we develop friendly feelings for others we care about their well-being. So once the friendship bonds are formed we naturally exhibit social virtues (Sullivan

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