Review Questions On The NE Book II

1. Chapter 1 of Book II is about the acquisition of virtues. Does Aristotle think that human beings are virtuous by nature? Why or why not? To what other learning process does Aristotle compare the learning of virtue?

2. After noting that the account of virtue must focus on the nature of actions, in Chapter 2 Aristotle goes on to make some general observations about certain qualities of actions. He then connects these actions to his account of virtue using the examples of health and strength. Summarize his remarks on the qualities that virtuous action must have, and explain one of Aristotle’s examples.

3. What connection do pleasures and pains have to virtuous character, for Aristotle?

4. Having discussed the nature of virtuous actions in Chapter 3, Aristotle goes on in Chapter 4 to discuss the virtuous person. What are the three characteristics of virtuous character that Aristotle lays out in this Chapter? How does Aristotle’s account of virtuous character relate to his account of virtuous action?

5. In Chapter 5 Aristotle identifies virtue in terms of his moral psychology, i.e. his account of the soul. Compare Aristotle’s moral psychology with that of Hume. How are they alike and how are they different?

6. Chapter 6 contains Aristotle’s specification of what has come to be known as the Doctrine of the Mean. It is to this doctrine that Aristotle refers when he talks about the “specific nature of virtue”. Summarize Aristotle’s account of the nature of virtue as he gives it in this Chapter, then choose any one of Aristotle’s examples of virtue from Chapter 7 and show how it fits the account he gives of the nature of virtue.

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