Aristotle virtues of character account
Aristotle upholds the belief that a person who practices honesty, generosity, and being brave advances to a moral character (Ross 1). As such, there are moral virtues of liberality, temperance, and courage. Virtue depicts the acting habituation since an individual understands that the embraced actions impact others in either a positive or negative manner. Therefore, an effort can only be virtuous when it is executed voluntarily. The execution of the action is tied to the perception that an individual develops concerning the surrounding environment and interaction with other social systems. When a person engages in completing an act using different methods that include fear, it is considered non-voluntary. An individual is deemed to be virtuous when he or she posses the virtues of character and intellect in addition to moral virtues. The intellectual virtue that a person develops is wisdom, which is involved in governing ethical understanding and behaviour of an individual. The expression of this virtue of comprehension is exhibited through scientific contemplation and endeavour.
Aristotle embraces the view that when an individual develops a feeling to another person, these feelings are dependent on the circumstances that prevail. The right amount of emotions exists between the extremities (Aristotle 7). Examples of these extremes is that of rashness that involves cowardice and courage. However, some extremes possess high levels of likeness. For example, fear is far from indiscretion as compared to a nerve. The virtues that a person develops are based on the ability to copy and practice moral standards until the attribute is internalized. A person becomes courageous through practicing courage and temperate by embrace temperance. The implication of this is that virtue is through nature, and individuals develop moral virtues as they interact with different systems in the environment.
Hill view on environmental respect
Hill’s focus has been the character, which is depicted by the treatment that human beings accord the environment. He utilizes ethical virtue as the tool for examining the role of a person while addressing different environmental issues (Hill 1). Virtue ethics refers to the habit exhibited on an action based on voluntary or willing choice. Therefore, an individual who engages in littering the environment does not care about nature. Such a person is regarded as inconsiderate on the aspect of the character.
Hill asks what type of person would engage in environmental destruction. He sees that individuals who engage in ecological damage have a deficiency of some traits. Further, harms to violations of rights and humans are considered as practical means of opposing the destruction of the environment (Hill 7). Hence, environmental ethics can be addressed if individuals shift their focus from action rightness to moral character. Such is because individuals who do not respect the environment have a deficiency of gratitude virtue.
Comparison of Hill and Aristotle views on the virtues of character
The opinions of Hill are similar to Aristotle since they both indicate that the wrong or right of human action is based on the nature of an individual. The developed trait acts as a reflective piece of who people are in society. The difference in the perspectives of these scholars emerges where Hill claims that an individual can destroy the environment because of having a defect in character. Thus, Aristotle and Hill differ on how they propose others to be treated in the natural environment.
Aristotle.. Nicomachean Ethic, trans. R. Crisp. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
Hill, Thomas, Jr. “Ideals of Human Excellence and Preserving Natural
Environments.” Environmental Ethics, 5: 211-24, 1983.
Ross, W.D. Nicomachean ethics by Aristotle. Web. 30th Jan, 2020. < http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.mb.txt>
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