The Golden Mean (philosophy)

Ancient Greek Philosophers

In philosophy, especially that of Aristotle, the golden mean is the desirable middle between two extremes, one of excess and the other of deficiency. The Golden Mean (philosophy)

In the Eudemian Ethics, Aristotle writes on the virtues. Aristotle’s theory on virtue ethics is one that does not see a person’s actions as a reflection of their ethics but rather looks into the character of a person as the reason behind their ethics. His constant phrase is, “… is the Middle state between …”. His psychology of the soul and its virtues is based on the golden mean between the extremes. In the Politics, Aristotle criticizes the Spartan Polity by critiquing the disproportionate elements of the constitution; e.g., they trained the men and not the women, and they trained for war but not peace. This disharmony produced difficulties which he elaborates on in his work. See also the discussion in the Nicomachean Ethics of the golden mean, and Aristotelian ethics in general.-

Book VI: Intellectual virtue 

 Book VI of the Nicomachean Ethics is identical to Book V of the Eudemian Ethics. Earlier in both works, both the Nicomachean Ethics Book IV, and the equivalent book in the Eudemian Ethics (Book III), though different, ended by stating that the next step was to discuss justice. Indeed in Book I Aristotle set out his justification for beginning with particulars and building up to the highest things. Character virtues (apart from justice perhaps) were already discussed in an approximate way, as like achieving at middle point between two extreme options, but this now raises the question of how we know and recognize the things we aim at or avoid. Recognizing the mean recognizing the correct boundary-marker (horos) which defines the frontier of the mean. And so practical ethics, having a good character, requires knowledge.-

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