Boxing and the Cool Halls of Academe: A trainer and philosophy teacher defends the sweet science: Still, I think the best defense of boxing is Aristotelian. In his Nichomachean Ethics, Aristotle offers his famous catalog of the moral virtues. Whenever I teach this section of the Ethics I always begin by asking students what they think are the ingredients of moral virtue. Respect, compassion, honesty, justice, and tolerance always fly quickly up onto the board, often followed by creativity and a sense of humor. I usually need to prod to elicit "courage." And so I hector, "How can you be consistently honest or just if you don't have the mettle to take a hit?"