But it is difficult to get from youth up a right training for virtue if one has not been brought up under right laws; for to live temperately and hardily is not pleasant to most people, especially when they are young. For this reason their nurture and occupations should be fixed by law; for they will not be painful when they have become customary. But it is surely not enough that when they are young they should get the right nurture and attention: since they must, even when they are grown up, practise and be habituated to them, we shall need laws for this as well, and generally speaking to cover the whole of life; for most ...view middle of the document...
We need to train, drill, and educate the youth of this generation to act in a virtuous way. Aristotle believes children should be taught at all times whether at school or at home to act in the correct ways. When these children are young they need education and habituation, Aristotle preaches throughout Book X, chapter 10.
Virtue naturally brings pleasure at virtuous acts, but its active exercise, as needed for happiness, depends to some extent on goods outside the human’s control. Just like children, adults also don’t automatically tend to virtue themselves and don’t follow arguments. Adults seem to live more of a self-centered lifestyle, as they almost have to, because of their spouses and children. Adults need to keep being trained to act virtuous Aristotle says, because they tend to distance themselves from virtue as they grow in age.
When Aristotle says, “for this reason their nurture and occupations should be fixed by law,” he is saying that acting virtuously needs to made into a law that people learn to follow this customarily and it almost becomes second nature to society. Acting virtuously should be a mandatory thing and not something that is done once in a while, when people “feel like it.” When people get punished for acting virtuous, which may be what it takes for people to start acting virtuously on a daily basis. Ultimately, Aristotle is trying to say that virtue is learnable and can be and should be trained to people.