Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The good-making character of life skills

At the beginning of Chapter 6, Aristotle claims that these life skills are such that they both (i) make their possessors good, and (ii) make the activities of their possessors good. They firm up, so to speak, their possessors and the work they do.

As an analogy, Aristotle mentions the eye and a horse. When an eye is in excellent working order, it sees very well. So its fine character both makes the eye good, and it makes its vision good. Similarly, an excellent horse performs very well, so its fine character makes that horse good, and it makes it run well (or behave well in battle).

The skills that help us live successfully are like this too. They make a person good, and they make him or her do their work well.

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