102: Introduction to Philosophy
Aristotle's Doctrine of the Mean
Directions: Write in the word "true" or the word "false" in the appropriate space provided for the following statements.
1. Aristotle defines virtue or excellence as an arithmetic mean between the two extremes of excess and defect (i.e., too much or too little).
2. The exact mean, according to Aristotle, is determined as the practically wise person would determine it.
3. The exact mean is relative to the individual and his circumstances.
4. According to Aristotle, the mean cannot be determined a posteriori but must be determined a priori.
5. If we take Aristotle's Doctrine of the Mean seriously, it would imply that the right act would be a mean between the extremes of too good and too bad.
6. To attain virtue, excellence, and happiness, one must find the proper means through experience and practical reason.
7. Theoretical reason is important to Aristotle, but even theoretical reason can be done to excess.
8. The ability to see the right thing under a given circumstance can only by done by using theoretical reason, according to Aristotle.
9. We can never really know what good is, until we have acted or actively chosen similar alternatives in past experience.
10. Aristotle's Doctrine is teleological.