Aristotles Ideas on Civic Relationships

June 1, 2021

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Aristotle: Summary of Nicomachean Ethics

Aristotle was born in a small coastal town Stagira in a politically heated Macedonia. He later travelled to Athens in his early childhood years and later joined the Platos academy where he remained for virtually twenty years. Plato had an immense influence on Aristotles life, because of his philosophical thoughts and ideals. However, there were significant differences in their ideologies that made them vary in the way they perceived issues and occurrences. For instance, Aristotle evidently criticized Platos notion of uniformity (Aristotle and Crisp 4). In his opinion, Aristotle defended private ownership with reasons that other scholars have used for years and years. Aristotle clearly ejected the idea of limited government institutions that some of his colleagues boldly defended. He actually objected Lycophrons idea that a government is there for the reason of alliance and security from injustice. In this regard, he indicated that the prevailing law should act as a promise to people for justice.

Aristotle did not agree with this notion, instead, he asserted that for the government to confirm itself to this negative role of enforcing justice (Aristotle 14). It means that the government should actively encourage good life with available resources. According to Plato, in order to promote good life and maintain social order, the state should adore the civic virtue. Aristotle commences the work by arguing that there is an existence of some ultimate good on all human activities. Characteristically, the ultimate good must be self-sufficient, final complete and continuous. The ultimate good of all human actions is happiness.


The word happiness, when translated into Greek, means well-being or blessedness. Here, blessedness is a type of activity not a statistic condition of being. Aristotle argued that to discover or establish the nature of human happiness, it is important to verify the function of a human being (Aristotle and Crisp 15). Since, an individuals happiness inclines towards fulfilling the natural function of a person. The natural function must be something specific and essential to humanity. A person has personal intellectual abilities, but subject to acquired knowledge. The desiring and spirited parts of the human soul are significant, thus acknowledging a persons identity considers the rational portion of the soul. Intellectualism is a value that only human beings posses. According to Aristotle, intellectual is an activity of the higher part of the human soul, which is rational. This means that a human being is able to reason, unlike the case of other animals. Therefore, happiness of human is in the activity of his/her soul according to the way he/she reasons. This also implies that the pinnacle of human life consists of the greatest and undisputable expectations of good things.


Ethically, virtue is a habit disposed towards a certain action or intentional choice, which is relative to individuals. Its achievement is mainly by outlining the reason for engaging in such habit. Moreover, virtue is not just an isolated activity, but acting well habit. For an action to be worthy, an individual must do everything intentionally, knowing that whatever he/she is doing is acceptable (Aristotle and Crisp 17).

Bravery, as a virtue, is a mean between cowardice and rashness. A brave person is the one who does not fear, but faces what he/she considers right and does it only for the right reason. He/she does the same in an accurate manner and at the relevant time. Consequently, it means that a brave person is one who does his/her actions for a reason, and that thing must be noble. In this regard, Aristotle asserts that a brave person is fearless when faced with a noble situation or death. Temperance is another virtue, which relates to bodily pleasures. The intemperate person longs for pleasurable things and likes them for the reason that they are enjoyable. Moreover, he/she is hurt when he/she fails to get what he/she wants (Aristotle and Crisp 24). A temperate person is disposed in relation to pain and pleasure. In other cases, temperance makes the desiring portion of the soul in accordance with the reason that created the temper.

Aristotle examines generosity as another virtue. With regard to wealth and property, generosity is a mean that differentiates stinginess and wastefulness (Aristotle 28). A generous person will give something to his/her colleague in the right quantity and at the relevant time. A generous person will also take good care of his/her possessions. Aristotle further asserted that generosity is not dependant on the quantity of the giving, but on the habit of a person giving. Moreover, the notion of generosity takes into account the quantity of the property that the giver is willing to provide in relation to what he/she has. This implies that a person is not generous if what he/she gives is little as compared to what he/she actually possesses.

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Munificence is another virtue that Aristotle described as the spirit of giving large amounts for relevant occasions and purposes. According to Aristotle, the opposite of this virtue is being mean and too much of it is ostentation. A munificent person spends lavishly and gladly, but he/she is always calculating cost and his/her lavish spending for a noble reason. Magnificence is another significant virtue among humankind as Aristotle discussed. He argued that a magnanimous person claims, and is worth great honors (Aristotle and Crisp 32). Aristotle further argues that any person who is worth honors and does not claim them is low minded. On the other hand, he noted that a person who claims honors, but is not worth them is sane. Aristotle also argued that it is good to be low-minded than to be vain or sane. This happens because vanity will eventually change due to life encounter. A magnanimous person is magnificent in all virtues and articulates them properly and rationally. Magnanimous person also possess virtues, because he/she shows how nice a virtuous life can be.

Prudence as described by Aristotle is the intellectual virtue of reason, which is practical. It is concerned with actions of human beings, and it usually gives a person the ability to decide what being virtuous means, concerning specific conditions. He further argued that in order to be prudent, one needs time and experience. Both prudence and ethical virtue are significant to one another. Incontinence and continence relates to bodily pleasures, but more like the same with intemperance and temperance. However, they are far much different from the latter virtues. For instance, a person who lacks contentment is inclined to perform actions he/she knows is not right, because of obsession (Aristotle and Crisp 51). On the other hand, the contented person realizes that his/her wishes are bad and he/she does not follow them because of that reason. The main difference between temperance and continence is the fact that for a temperate person, his/her longings have connection with his reason.


According to Aristotle, justice is a virtue that orders and responsible for uniting all other virtues. Independently, justice is also one of the virtues, that a human may posses. Justice, when considered in an independent sense and/or as an entirety of virtue, is evident in some people, but absent in others (Aristotle 88). However, justice in specific sense is more concerned with safety, honor, and property. Moreover, justice in the broader sense deals with a virtue as a whole. According to Aristotle, distributive justice is another subset of justice. Moreover, justice in a narrow view is a mean that exists between two extremes of unfairness. An action that is considered as justice should go with the merit. On the contrary, it might not entirely agree with what that merit ought to be.

Natural justice, according to Aristotle, is that justice, which is considered to be just in all places and in all times. On the other hand, conventional justice is that, which consists of customs and laws. Aristotle argued that all laws to some level are just on their own, since any existing law is much better than a situation of no law at all. These laws, however, are imperfect, because their creation and formulation across the world may not consider all definite situations and diversity. As a result, a judge is supposed to rule in relation to the intention of the lawmaker him/herself or the thought behind the law. In fact, when the law itself does not exactly match the situation, its application might work in the interest of the majority.

Like Plato, Aristotle did not differentiate between the voluntary sphere of humanity and the coercive field of the state (Aristotle 92). Consequently, individual freedom was not significant enough for Aristotle even when recommending laws. As a philosopher who entirely believed that he had an idea of what is good in society, he reasoned that laws are suppose to be concentrating on producing the healthiest bodies in the nurseries of the country.


Friendship, according to Aristotle, is a significant portion of good life. He further outlined that there are three categories. The first category is the type of friendship, which happen because of pleasure. The second type of friendship is because of virtue and the last type of friendship is because of usefulness. In this regard, the type of friendship based on virtue, according to Aristotle, is the genuine friendship. The friendship developed because of pleasure or usefulness is not genuine since they are not long lasting. This occurs because they only last during those times that parties are gaining from either pleasures or usefulness of the friendship, and soon disappears.

According to Aristotle, friendship resulting from virtue is honest, and it is based on the goodwill and wish of the other individual (Aristotle 102). The Genuine friendship is, therefore, significant for self-knowledge and aids both friends to develop in virtue. Sometimes, justice is presupposed by friendship and if friendship is based on virtue, it definitely goes beyond the definition and requirement of justice. As a result, the chief virtue of a friend is to love honestly.

Traits of the best places to work from the Best Places to Work Institute

According to the Best Places to Work Institute, traits of the best places to work include trust, pride and joy. The author indicated that the best place to work is where employees needs are fulfilled. Moreover, workers must be proud of tasks they do in the company and enjoy workmates with whom they work together.

Comparison of Aristotle Civic Relationships and Contemporary Notions of Best Place to Work

Aristotle is credited as one of the greatest thinkers who have revealed thoughts of eternal humanity. The significance of an individual to be happy in his environment of work and the significance of adopting a nice working culture is very significant. In relation to work place, Aristotle postulates that a man should be contented with the type of work they do and what they have.

Aristotle argues that warm relationship in a workplace is a secret of good results of workers. Cordial relationship between junior employees and their senior supervisor is important according to the best work institutions. Aristotle, on the other hand, also stressed on the significance of virtuous friendship, when employed in a workplace can see a company grow positively.

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Aristotle argued that happiness is the ultimate goal that is being wished by all human beings. He also said that all activities that are being done by men on earth are all suppose to bring happiness to mankind and not to bring misery. In the same way, work should bring happiness to man and not vice-versa. In brief, the two ideologies of best work place and Aristotles ideology on virtues are directly linked and related to the best places to work institute on how to maintain good working relationship.

In summary, in spite of what many scholars may say, pleasure is great. It credited for perfecting actions. The essence of pleasure is determined by the advantage of the activity, which it is associated with. The peak of goodness and happiness must also contain pleasure. Humans highest activity and full happiness is that life, which is full of expectations of the highest possible goods. Moreover, humans intellectual capacity is the peak of his/her capacity. A persons highest happiness stays in the employment of his/her capacity. Therefore, life might be elusive such that it is practically holy and a person can only achieve it if there is something holy in him/her.