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Jose Garcia
December 8, 2010
Courage
What is courage? Courage is mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear or difficulty There are many several different types and several different ways to express courage, , courage is shown through moral and physical manifestations. Moral courage is something that happens within us, when one takes the initiative to try tosucceed when no one else will. Physical courage is an action that one can see and experience for themselves inside and out. In someone’s lifetime at one point or another some type of courage will affect him or her in some way. It may be a positive or negative experience. To Aristotle, he viewed virtue as the habit of the soul. It was the mean between two vices: one of deficiency and one of excess andthis mean was defined through reason. To Aristotle, virtue was the sign that meant the man and his soul was at happiness, which was the ultimate goal of life.
Aristotle's view of bravery and courage is a unique look at a characteristic in mankind. Each being has its own interpretation of how to be brave and how to overcome the mortal fears. There is no defense for fears that have no real threator act of bravery to overcome. So the first point of understanding Aristotle's stance in the matters is to know that there is a wrong definition for being brave, meaning that there is no true act of bravery for the mortal man to overcome, and a right definition for being brave, where it is a logical fear that is understood and overcome by the individual.
The brave man, to Aristotle, is a wiseman. For even in being brave and courageous one must still have fears. It is a part of human kind to understand and acknowledge this. It is almost in a way like a humble, though in some cases not so evidently humble, manner of recognizing your own mortality and imperfection in life. If one did not have fear or fears, then one could not overcome them and truly never achieve greater peace orself-accomplishment in life. And it is required to not only have the fear, but also to be able to recognize the fear. The individual must be able to know what it is that he fears before he can overcome it. Once the person can admit to their own being that they do fear like all humans and that they can identify what it is to fear, they can proceed in the steps to overcome their fear.
Aristotle looks downon those who rush in to overcome their courage and do not fully assess what it is that they should be brave against and for. It is not in their wisdom that they do such acts and therefore do not understand that they are truly being brave. On the other hand, though one may act almost fool-heartedly when put in a situation requiring bravery, it does not necessarily mean that the person has a vice ofexcess in the virtue, which is what on even grounds Aristotle's work seems to express.
Aristotle clearly expresses an act of intellectualism and reason being a part of bravery. To what extent this goes is what splits his definition of the virtue into paths of interpretation. Man requires reason to exist as man. By looking at it in this way, courage would require mainly just being able toovercome the fear and a certain amount of analysis of it. Lack of analysis would mean improper reason and recognition of reality, while over analysis would inevitably bring in other elements and components other than the pure act of overcoming a fear and being brave.
So we can gather this from the end analysis: the virtue of courage is an act of understanding man's own mortal fears, both natural andlogical, and the ability to keep the act of overcoming fear, of being courageous, between two vices of reason where one is the lack of judgment and intellect while the other is the excess of judgment and analyzing. This leaves Aristotle's view on courage in an unlikely path. Though he deeply expresses the power of reason, it is this same reason that creates a vice if used to much.
In the end,...
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