Chapter

Moral Weakness

W.F.R. Hardie

in Aristotle's Ethical Theory

Second edition

Published in print January 1980 | ISBN: 9780198246329
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680953 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198246329.003.0013
Moral Weakness

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In Book VII of the EN, Aristotle distinguishes three kinds of ‘moral states to be avoided’: vice, incontinence, and brutishness. The opposed good states are virtue, continence, and superhuman virtue. The virtuous man is described as having no bad desires; he feels no desires or emotions either more or less than he should. It is not easy to see what additional moral stature could make a man more than virtuous, more than a man. Corresponding to the brutish and morbid forms of vice, there are also brutish and morbid forms of incontinence: there are people who yield to such desires or impulses knowing them to be wrong.

Keywords: moral states; Aristotle; incontinence; vice; brutishness; pleasure

Chapter.  14203 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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