University of North Carolina Aristotle Golden Mean & Confucius Self Cultivation Essay

Category: Psychology


  • Aristotle- “golden mean”
  • called virtue ethics
  • He believed happiness was the ultimate human good
  • To behave ethically, one must know through reasoning what they are doing, select the act for its own sake in order to flourish and know that the act itself springs forms a firm and I change characters
  • According to him, virtue lies at the mean between 2 extremes (excess and deficiency) the center is virtue
  • He believed that virtue ethics are agent-oriented -> “ethical actions are the result of an agent (person) seeking virtue and accomplishing it” (not true for everyone
  • Believed virtues came externally (incentives, for other people)
  • Confucius- self cultivation
  • he also focused on virtues (self-cultivation of virtue) we they key to moral excellence
  • He says that motivation for cultivating virtue is internal(wanting it for yourself) as in individuals develops moral character by harnessing the ability to find pleasure in virtue and pain in vices
  • To do self-cultivation, you had to understand the self. Reflections, meditations, who you are and how you relate to other people. 

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