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Author of the book Stuart: A Life Backwards

Comparison Between Confucius and Aristotle on Virtue

Comparison Between Confucius and Aristotle on Virtue

In the undertaking, the discussion will be based on the question concerning Confucius and Aristotle on virtue. The concept of virtue is pretty essential as it emphasizes on the roles of an individual character as well as the ethics that person’s character embodies for assessing or defining ethical behavior. An ethnic concept is an approach that derives either rightness or wrongness arising from the outcome of the result of the act itself. Therefore, the fundamental focus in this essay paper is to explore the differences and the similarities in the ideologies of Confucius and Aristotle concerning proper ethical traits. Also, it expounds on the major differences existing between the ancient Chinese and the Greek culture. Lastly, it outlines on the suggestions of how the ideas of virtues are applicable ethically in a modern setting, for instance, a workplace which is diverse in its composition arising from the human personnel.

Comparison of the teachings of Confucius and Aristotle on what constitutes virtue or good ethical character and conduct, noting similarities and differences in specific ideas or emphasis

Both Confucius and Aristotle are great ancient writers whose work had a monumental impact in the field of philosophy. The views in their arts of writing appear similar in various aspects; however, their opinion differs regarding the issues of humanity and virtues one should possess in his or her life. Despite having divergence views concerning humanity, they possess some similarities which include the following. First, these two great philosophers were the architectures of the theories on morality that form the core principles guiding every person ethical behavior (Shen & Shun, 2012). In their theories they all proposed, they touched on a similar subject such as the concept of virtue or one having decent ethical conduct. Secondly, both found the pleasure in writing the philosophical work during the same era, and the proposition is supported by the fact that Confucius work took place in the ancient time in China around 500 BC while Aristotle in Greece in the same period (Shen & Shun, 2012).

By exploring the differences that were provided by these two philosophers concerning what constitutes good virtues for a human being, it is vital to consider, the niche where they both wrote their respective work. First, Confucius practiced writing in the ancient China, in which several subjects spoke of suspiciously and secondarily (Hsu, 2014). Due to a tough translation of the drafting from Chinese to English, he was unable to illustrate his thoughts directly and exactly what his perspective on ethical behavior should be in the world on what he felt real virtue was in practice.  On the contrary, Aristotle who was ancient Greek writer was keen observers of the code of conduct that everyone should adhere to in their daily life. In his work, the fundamental question was the difference between wrong and right in the sense of a prudent person (Peterson & Seligman, 2014). Hence, he narrowed his moral virtue on the principle of what sort of life one should live. In this regard, he shifted the emphasis from the wider concept of ethic in the societal or universal viewpoint but to a more individualistic one.

Secondly, in spite of the impediment of translating the Chinese language to English language, Confucius ideas were apparently availed to the later scholars. In the Analects, is to create a complete view of what Confucius had held to be good, upright behaviors. He believed in himself as the master of humanity and to be praiseworthy in his sights was for a person to comfort the elderly in the society, trust or have faith in his friends and finally treasure the young (Peterson & Seligman, 2014). Aristotle argued that having real ethical virtues was tied to person characters of a person, and one possessed the right characters he or she will eventually do the right thing at the right place (Shankman & Durrant, 2012). The concept was referred to as practical wisdom in his work. In his later work, he states that, for a person to live a morally virtuous life it depends on numerous factors such as, being healthy and having a sound mind. Also, growing up within a caring family, be nurtured in the right manner and getting the appropriate education at the early stage of life by the society (Shankman & Durrant, 2012).

Differences between ancient Chinese and ancient Greek culture

Ancient Greek and Ancient Chinese have a remarkably diverse culture that roots back to the early 500BC. The Ancient Greek culture emphasizes mostly on individual identities. In contrast, the Ancient Chinese culture emphasizes on collective identities of its entire people. In analyzing the two ancient nation’s political structures, Ancient Greece valued the idea of participation by everyone in gathering the ideas which are essential in building the country, while Chine had the political structure which is bureaucratic and centralized. The political structure had substantial support from the obedience and hierarchy of the citizen who is bound to adhere to those regulations (Shankman & Durrant, 2012).

Considering science culture that is immense in these two ancients’ countries, the high science culture that is intrinsic to Ancient Greek is mostly attributed to the ecological surrounding. The Greek people had great inventions of scientific discoveries attributed to nature. According to the old Greek, nature constitutes the universe minus culture and human beings.  Religiously, the nation had people having different religious beliefs. In Contrast, Chinese culture amalgamation during the early times might have cause the Chinese seldom to interact with other people of the various religious views.

Furthermore, Chinese seem to lack curiosity for the outsiders. The isolation in one way or another might have blocked the development of the scientific innovations. Finding individuals with different religious views, in the ancient Chinese was rare due to incurious. The dearth of curiosity among the Chinese might have blocked most of them to be scientifically innovative in the old era (Shankman & Durrant, 2012).

The virtue that can apply to ethics in a modern setting, such as a diverse workplace

Finally, the proposed virtues by Confucius, for instance, being friendly to the elderly, trusting friends and cherishing the teenagers in the society are exclusively ethical that can practically apply well in the current modern setting. Since the contemporary setting of the workplace is composed of different employees having diverse cultural backgrounds, such virtues will enable the staffs to work in harmony with their clients and subsequently form a group where they can apply the principle of Espiritu de Corps (King & Lloyd, 2011). Ethical virtues such education for individuals as postulated by Aristotle constitutes the backbone of developing employees’ career goals by giving them an equal opportunity to get new training on techniques and skills required in the modern corporate workplace.


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