phi 2010 immersive experience essay


Aristotle considered it essential to living virtuously that we habituate ourselves to act virtuously. Just as we acquire skill in a craft or a sport through constant practice, we acquire the virtues “by first engaging in the activities” (Nicomachean Ethics II.1). Your task in this assignment is to develop a virtue through habit.

Choose one the four following virtues discussed by Aristotle in the Nicomachean Ethics: courage, temperance, good-temper, or proper pride (do not do more than one!). You’re asked to work on exercising this virtue during the weeks before the assignment is due. For example, if you’ve selected courage you may need to respond with that virtue if it’s incumbent on you to act in a situation that makes you fearful. It will be a good idea at this time to devise some activities for yourself that manifest your selected virtue. Before the assignment is due, keep a running list of the activities you complete — you should do at least three for your chosen virtue.

The Prompt

Write an essay of 800-1000 words answering the following questions:

  1. What is a moral virtue according to Aristotle?
  2. How does Aristotle describe the virtue you have chosen? What is it a mean between?
  3. What activities did you complete in order to exercise that virtue?
  4. What was your experience exercising that virtue?
  5. In light of your experiment, do you agree with Aristotle that virtue is the kind of thing we can train ourselves to develop?
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