Virtue and Wisdom, Feeling, Habit, Happiness

Virtue is a fundamental concept that characterizes the readiness and ability of a person to follow the path of good consciously. It is a set of internal, mental, and intellectual qualities that embody the human ideal. The main components of virtue in ancient Greek philosophy are wisdom, in other words, prudence, courage, temperance, and justice. Wisdom is one of the principal elements of virtue; knowing how to achieve benefits effectively is part of practical experience. For example, a right-minded person does not make a mistake and hides the truth from the person who needs to know it. In general, in the case of plans are intentions to do good or right, then practical wisdom is the kind of knowledge or understanding that enables an individual to behave like a man of sense. In addition, Aristotle identifies wisdom as a quality of the theoretical mind and prudence as a state of the practical intel/lect aimed at cognizing unpredictable phenomena.

There is a particular connection between virtue and feelings; the latter can contribute to goodness. Virtue is a perfect state of mind; as a result, a well-directed action indicates good feelings. Therefore, a virtuous person is a decent human being who acts and feels great as he/she should. The spirit and emotions come into harmony with each other so that the person will always tend to behave well. Concerning the connection between virtue and habit, these terms can be considered a unified whole. For Aristotle, virtue is a habit requiring deliberate choice at the beginning. Nevertheless, for instance, Kant’s position lies in the fact that virtue is linked to duty. It is derived primarily from principles, not serving as a habit of accomplishing good deeds.

Regarding happiness and virtue, opinions can also differ. All people intend to pursue happiness. It cannot be compared to other benefits, as human beings’ actions are mainly driven by the desire to find happiness. Aristotle denies the general definition of happiness as a virtue. Instead, he focuses on personal activity according to integrity; actions should be accompanied by success; hence, happiness is the supreme good. According to Aristotle, happiness is not enough; a person should be able to make the best choice from all activities that lead to virtue. This means that the choice is determined not only by knowledge but also by the one who chooses.

In contrast, Plato believed that through knowledge, a person acquires virtue and happiness. Referring to Plato’s point of view, virtue necessarily brings joy. For a virtuous person, happiness exists independently of everything else, including health, wealth, beauty, strength, income, and talents. In the interpretation of Aristotle, the activity of the soul, aspiring to virtue, is combined with pleasure, leisure, prosperity, luck, and other benefits inherent in a person or acquired by him/her in the external world. All the diversity of teachings is united by one common central thesis; virtue is sufficient for happiness and is perceived as the only way of achieving it.

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