Aristotle says that the virtues are necessary for humans to attain happiness, but he means this in terms of something we might call “flourishing” or “living well”, which he considers quite different than simply feeling good. Thus, according to Aristotle some people might feel that they are happy, but because they lack the virtues they are not truly flourishing. However, imagine someone that is deceitful, selfish, greedy, self-indulgent, and yet enjoys great pleasure and appears to be quite happy. Is someone like this “flourishing” or not? Explain your answer this by referring to this week’s readings and media, and if possible provide examples from real life and/or from literature, film, TV, etc.
What are 2 virtues that you believe are important to living a flourishing or successful life in Aristotle’s sense of the term? Explain what goods in human life these virtues enable their possessor to fulfill. Provide examples of characteristic behavior that manifests these virtues, and contrast that with behavior that displays a lack of virtue. Do your examples confirm Aristotle’s view that a virtue is a mean between extremes of excess and defect? If so, explain what those extremes are; if not, explain why. Refer to this week’s readings and media to illustrate and support your claims.
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