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Nichomachean Ethics

            In Aristotle's Nicohmachean Ethics the term virtue refers to a state that exists within the soul. Virtue is a state that allows one who posses it to function and act well as a whole. Aristotle also argues that every action is aimed at some good. To be a virtuous person, one must achieve a mean between extremes. If you are able to achieve this mean you will lead the virtuous life. There are two forms of virtue, intellectual and moral. Intellectual virtues are learned through teaching. Moral virtues are instilled in us from the day we are born. In book one, chapter seven, Aristotle makes it clear that in humans the true virtue of the soul is that of reason. As the text continues Aristotle goes on to argue his point and attempts to prove it through dialogue.
             In book one, chapter thirteen Aristotle says, "The division between virtues accords with this difference. For some virtues are called virtues of thought, others virtues of character; wisdom, comprehension, and prudence are called virtues of thought, generosity and temperance virtues of character. For when we speak of someone's character we do not say that he is wise or has good comprehension, but that he is gentle or temperate. And yet, we also praise the wise person for his state, and the states that are praiseworthy are the ones we call virtues."(1) The first virtue pertaining to reason that Aristotle mentions is virtue of thought. It is understood that virtue of thought goes hand in hand with being a knowledgeable and academic person. This virtue of being intellectually able to comprehend concepts comes about mainly from teaching. Thus virtue of intellect does not come to one overnight, rather it is a trait that needs time to develop fully. For example if a person desires to become a marathon runner they must put in hours each week running miles. Hours turn into days, days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, and months turn into years.

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