The nature, role, and quality of attaining virtue hold an important place in Aristotle’s philosophy. He tried to provide a systematic account of Man’s goal of achieving virtue. Martha Nussbaum, the contemporary commentator of Aristotle, believes that some contemporary p More
The nature, role, and quality of attaining virtue hold an important place in Aristotle’s philosophy. He tried to provide a systematic account of Man’s goal of achieving virtue. Martha Nussbaum, the contemporary commentator of Aristotle, believes that some contemporary philosophers, although considering themselves as advocates of Aristotle, have some disagreements with him regarding certain key issues. Their mistake is rooted in their relativist approach to Aristotelian virtues. This approach stands in clear opposition to other views of Aristotle, who defended a single objective description of goodness or happiness for Man. Aristotle’s ethical virtue can explain many of the problems that relativists tried to solve and, at the same time, claim to be objective in the sense that relativism in one specific context does not mean being a relativist. For example, in other sciences, such as medicine and maritime, attention is devoted to particular cases, but it does not mean that the scholars and scientists in these fields are relativist. According to Nussbaum, Aristotelian virtues can explain virtue better than the virtues intended by relativists. However, this is the case when the specific features of a context are meticulously examined, and both shared and unshared characteristics are taken into consideration so that the best choice is made. In this paper, after explaining Nussbaum’s view concerning Aristotelian virtues, the author investigates three objections to his theory and, finally, clarifies the non-relativity of virtues in Aristotle’s thoughts.