The Nicomachean Ethics advances an understanding of ethics known as virtue ethics because of its heavy reliance on the concept of virtue. The word we translate as virtue is aretê, and it could equally be translated as “excellence.” Something has aretê if it performs its function well. A good horseman, for example, has the aretê of being good at handling horses, and a good knife has the aretê of sharpness. For the Greeks, moral virtue is not essentially different from these other kinds of excellence. The Greeks do not have a distinctive concept of morality like we do, which carries associations of sanctity or duty. Moral virtue is simply a matter of performing well in the function of being human. For the Greeks, the motivation for being good is not based in a divine legislator or a set of moral dos and don’ts but rather in the same kind of striving after excellence that might make an athlete train hard. The Greek word ethos, from which we derive the word ethics , literally means “character,” and Aristotle’s goal is to describe what qualities constitute an excellent character.
Some of our “experiments” in living will succeed, while others will fail. We gain crucial knowledge from both our successes and failures. But if we are legally prohibited from acting according to our own judgments of what will make us happy, then we will be unable to acquire the knowledge essential to our pursuit of happiness. No other person can tell us how to happy. This is something we must learn for ourselves. This requires complete freedom from coercion by others, so long as our actions do not violate the equal freedom of any other person.
The deluxe edition of the album includes the demo "Oh Glory", which was initially released via the band's official website in July 2009 as a 30-second sample.  Like Pretty. Odd. , Vices & Virtues received heavy popularity through online music stores; by February 2011, the record was already up to the top five overall on the "Top Albums" chart.  Promotion for Vices & Virtues included an appearance on Conan a week after the record's release on March 28, and Lopez Tonight a week after that on April 4, 2011.