Aristotelian Virtues

So far as I’m concerned, the study of virtue in relation to excess and deficiency is probably a superior course of action for the trader who seeks to improve his or her trading psychology.

It takes long effort to learn to trade; it cannot be accomplished without balance. Balance is what all my best Taiwanese/Chinese friends seek in daily activities– an objective recognized and realized via the study and application of Taoism and Confucian thought and practices of physical discipline, such as 太極拳, taijiquan.  Re-reading the Nichomachaen Ethics, I am reminded that the conduct of a person of balance was well conceived and expressed in ancient Greece. (For the record, Confucius, 551-479, lived and taught about a century prior to Aristotle, 384-322 BC).

Much of our lives remain mysterious to us. We can dig for a lifetime in precisely the wrong directions or give up the pursuit of self-knowledge and fold our cards, so to speak. So long as people look to the stock and derivatives markets for hope, we might as well turn to time-tested means for dignity and well being, too:

ARISTOTLE’S ETHICS

TABLE OF VIRTUES AND VICES

SPHERE OF ACTION OR FEELING EXCESS MEAN DEFICIENCY
Fear and Confidence Rashness Courage Cowardice
Pleasure and Pain Licentiousness/Self-indulgence Temperance Insensibility
Getting and Spending
(minor)
Prodigality Liberality Illiberality/Meanness
Getting and Spending
(major)
Vulgarity/Tastelessness Magnificence Pettiness/Stinginess
Honour and Dishonour
(major)
Vanity Magnanimity Pusillanimity
Honour and Dishonour
(minor)
Ambition/empty vanity Proper ambition/pride Unambitiousness/undue humility
Anger Irascibility Patience/Good temper Lack of spirit/unirascibility
Self-expression Boastfulness Truthfulness Understatement/mock modesty
Conversation Buffoonery Wittiness Boorishness
Social Conduct Obsequiousness Friendliness Cantankerousness
Shame Shyness Modesty Shamelessness
Indignation Envy Righteous indignation Malicious enjoyment/Spitefulness

Aristotle (1955). The Ethics of Aristotle: The Nichomachaen Ethics. (rev. ed.) (J. K. Thomson, trans.). New York: Viking. p. 104.

 

 

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