One particular passage of interest from the assigned reading was early on when Aristotle is talking about voluntary action and virtue. The reason this caught my attention is because voluntary action, to me, is a very real/relevant thing, and virtue seems to be a reoccurring theme in Aristotle’s studies.
Early on, Aristotle talks about the virtue of both voluntary and involuntary actions. He says, “Virtue, then, is about feelings and actions”(376). It’s hard to sum any concept up in just two words, but here, Aristotle does just that. What really stood out to me was when he was distinguishing the difference between voluntary and involuntary actions. He says how voluntary actions either receive praise or blame, but when the actions are involuntary, receive pity. What strikes me about this is how easy it is for these two terms to intertwine. If you commit a voluntary action and receive blame for it, is it as easy as just saying that it was involuntary? The same goes for involuntary actions; if you commit an involuntary action and receive praise for it, can’t one just say it was voluntary to make themselves look better?
Like I said before, the reason this passage caught my attention is because how relevant the concept is today. In my life, I tend to see people commit voluntary actions in which they receive blame. When this happens, they try to flip the script to try and take some blame away. Same goes for involuntary. When something does something good by accident, and says they did it on purpose in order to receive a lot of praise. This kind of stuff happens every day, and it amazes me how we will never really know when someone is doing a voluntary or involuntary action.