How did Aristotle understand bravery? This essay evaluates Aristotle's understanding of bravery.

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Bravery, or andreia, as it was used in Aristotle's time, had the root meaning of manly. Bravery was a show of one's devotion to his city, and it was seen as the ultimate display of a man's virtue. Bravery is more complex than some of the other virtues, because it involves the feelings of fear and confidence, which require correct training. It is concerned with the art of mastering one's feelings in the face of …

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…on his impulses and feelings alone. These people appear to be brave, but they are not brave because they act for the wrong reasons. Instead of following reason, like the brave person, the spirited man act on impulsive feelings. The brave person stands firm against the right things and fears the right things (1115b 17), where the spirited person is excessively confident and fearless or overly frightened. Note: All references are referring to Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics