Human desires are unlimited and constantly emerge in us and continually replacing with other desires. Human beings are providentially managed for their own sake and made their own choice. Human wants are seemingly insatiable so man would crave anything that can provide pleasure to itself and this may go on without limit. If this is the case, since human desires are endless, people would lose their abilities to desire eventually and no longer interested in or motivated to do anything. Hence, human beings are in pursuit of the good should be an ultimate end. In most cases, many think honour, pleasure or wealth is the best good because these are the factors that can bring them happiness and so does all other goods. Therefore, Aristotle proposed that the best good is happiness since it ends in itself.
Human beings have a natural desire and ability to understand the truth and behave rationally, which differentiate us from other animals and plants. The function of human beings is to act virtuously in accordance with reason and this explains why we are constantly obliged to behave in a particular way. The main purpose of this function is to allow humans to make its own preference according to its desires. A good …show more content…
According to Aristotle, only virtuous humans could achieve happiness through rational activity if happiness is not a gift from god. Everything on earth is generally shared between humans, animals and plants and Aristotle discarded nutrition and growth in order to distinguish them. Human beings shared some sort of perceptual living with an ox, horse, and other animals, but they do not share the same sort of practical living with reason. Therefore, Aristotle considered children are too young to understand rationality and virtue, while animals are not capable of rational activity. Hence, horse, ox, and every animal are disregarded as
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysGet Access
Although, as Aristotle believes, everything we do in our life leads to some good, he makes it clear that some goods are subordinate to others, and that the greatest good is happiness. He believes that the knowledge of this good carries weight for our way of life, and makes us better able, like archers who have a target to aim at, to hit the right mark (Aristotle 2). To possess the ability to achieve this ultimate end; however, we must first have some sort of understanding as to what happiness is. The definition of happiness typically varies from person to person, some think it’s pleasure or something found in someone you love, others believe it lies in wealth and success, but Aristotle defines it as
In the work, Nicomachean Ethics, the philosopher Aristotle creates a guideline for those who are serious about pursuing happiness. Aristotle's recommendations for finding happiness are not accepted today without some struggle and careful examination. In Aristotle's time, slaves, women and children were not truly considered human; so in many cases the philosopher is directing his words towards free males only. It is necessary to understand that by overlooking this discrimination and applying it to all people, one can discover the timeless wisdom of Aristotle.
In Book I of the Ethics, Aristotle understands the end to all human activity to be happiness which is the supreme good. This is because all human activity aims to whatever we consider to be good. The highest ends are ends within themselves, while subordinate ends may only be ends to higher ends. This means that the highest end must be the supreme good. Everyone can agree that that the supreme good is happiness, but many people disagree on what the faulty in which the nature of happiness stems from. For some people they equate happiness with pleasure. This is problematic because that faulty is not indicative to only human beings, for animals also engage in various activity to feel a sensation of pleasure. This can be hunting or obtaining food to satisfy appetite or mating to satisfy the feelings of euphoria from sensual stimulation. Both humans and animals can identify with this but it is not considered the highest end because it is an end to a higher end. Secondly, others consider honor with being the greatest good, but this is also problematic because honor depends on how others perceive you and honor is also conferred as recognition of goodness, so there must be a greater good that honors reward. Another indication that happiness is the ultimate goal of all activities, is Aristotle’s use of the word telos in relation to happiness. Every activity has a telos that can explain the reasoning behind why we partake in certain activities. Happiness is the ultimate telos for there
Aristotle lists honor, pleasure, and wealth as the things believed to make humans happy. He believed that because honor could be easily taken away it was superficial and that pleasure, although enjoyable, was merely an “animal like quality”. Wealth was described as a vehicle to achieve greater status. The moderation of the three vices could be achieved but would not, in-itself produce or guarantee eudaimonia. Instead, Aristotle was of the opinion that wisdom, courage, temperance, and justice, would better lead person to happiness.
To define what the function of human life is, Aristotle explains that humans are goal-directed systems, meaning that people have goals to achieve as humans. That goals are to gain happiness, and this is the major difference between people and others such as trees and animals. Those living creatures think how they obtain food or shelter (refereed as the practical reasoning), but they do not question why are they doing so. On the other hand, people can question why they need such things like food or shelter (referred as the theoretical reasoning), and, for
The definition of happiness has long been disputed, and in order to establish a general definition one must discover mankind’s function (1095a.20). The distinct function of human beings will differentiate man from all other beings, thus it cannot be related to the characteristics of animals or plants. Aristotle explains that all living beings grow, and that man and animals share instinct. Through elimination, Aristotle establishes the distinct function of man as logic. Only human beings contain three souls and have the ability to use reason. Aristotle states, “the function of man then is activity of soul [thinking well and doing well] in accordance with reason” (). Ultimately, logic allows human beings to use reason in decision-making and to be virtuous.
Is there really one definition for what it means to be truly happy? A simple joy such as a piece of candy may bring happiness to one; whereas something much larger might be the determining factor for another’s happiness. The definition of happiness is one of the most debated questions among many different philosophers and people through out the ages. Aristotle and John Stuart Mill are two philosophers who had similar ideas regarding the definition of happiness, but argued different theories on what constitutes happiness and what is required to be truly happy.
Immanuel Kant and Aristotle agree that all rational beings desire happiness and that all rational beings at least should desire moral righteousness. However, their treatments of the relationship between the two are starkly opposed. While Aristotle argues that happiness and morality are nearly synonymous (in the respect that virtue necessarily leads to happiness), Kant claims that not only does happiness have no place in the realm of morality, but that a moral action usually must contradict the actor’s own inclination toward happiness. Because Kant and Aristotle hold practically equal definitions of happiness, the difference must arise from the respective relationships between happiness and each author’s framework of morality. Because Kant
Happiness is an absolute state of mind, where a person can realize the ultimate contentment in their life regardless of circumstances. Happiness is the end of every desire, after which nothing is desirable. Socrates believes that happiness is a concept of morality and the stable state of ones’ mind, which is non-dependable on the material goods, resources and circumstances. Whereas Aristotle in the Nicomachean Ethics, states that “happiness depends on our self”, where both the material satisfaction and internal satisfaction is required to relish the human life in a happy way. Both philosophers are stressed upon the ultimate satisfaction of life and ‘supreme goods’. The only major difference between the Socrates and Aristotle’s definitions
Happiness is all around the world, it is a very genuine and important thing, and everyone wants to be happy. Being happy is what makes life worth living, and it makes life a lot better in every way possible. What makes people happy though? Are bodily and external goods necessary to happiness? I would say no because by which they can make you happy, they are not necessary for human happiness. It’s not what things you buy, the pain, the suffering, or enjoyment your body might get. Human happiness comes from somewhere else within the human. Comparing and contrasting Aristotle’s and the Stoics’ view of human happiness will help give a better clear and logical understanding on what really happiness is and why I believe that bodily
Aristotle begins his exploration into the most outstanding life by attempting to figure what the highest possible good achievable is for human beings. He comes to the conclusion that most people will agree that happiness is the most sought after good. Happiness is self-sufficient and is the complete end of things pursued. However, they cannot seem to agree how to achieve happiness and what happiness is. In order to figure out what happiness is, Aristotle must evaluate the true function of human beings. This true function, as seen by Aristotle, is the key to achieving happiness. Aristotle describes happiness by saying:
Now we move on to a more pressing question: how do you attain happiness? Aristotle holds that “perhaps we shall find the best good (happiness) if we first find the function of a human being” (1.7.1097b24). He explains that as trades-people have functions so must human beings have function. This function must also set humans apart form the vegetable and animal kingdoms in order to be a truly human function. “The remaining possibility, then, is some sort of life or action of the [part of the soul] that has reason”(1.7.1098a3).
He is honored to be author of ‘The Nicomachean Ethics,’ which was in fact the 1st book ever written on the subject of ethics. The book is greatly influential, even in modern times. By an analysis of Aristotle’s literature, it can be observed that he primarily focused on preaching to be ‘virtuous’ rather than focusing on the theories of what ‘virtue’ is. According to him, in whatever way we choose to act, some action that is focused on achieving the desired end result or ‘good’ results comes from that person’s own perspective. Aristotle claimed that the maximum good which a person have desire to achieve is basically an end-point itself , a person’s action or struggles is for achieving that ‘end-point’, it may be regarded as a point of maximum satisfaction. Aristotle critically concluded that the happiness of a person satisfies these conditions completely, and hence the highest attainable good is regarded as happiness.
Aristotle, one of the greatest philosophers of all time created an idea that happiness is the ultimate end goal. This world renowned philosopher argues that exercising a fulfilling life will lead to happiness. Likewise, happiness is said to be the ultimate end goal of all activities in life. Basically, Aristotle portrays every activity as a subordinate to becoming happy. He argues that being self sufficient, and leading a fulfilling life will create happiness through virtue. A virtuous person is noble and possess the ability to rationalize. In order to be noble one must posses the ability to create equilibrium of the soul. That is, staying within the mean. Similar to the mean, Aristotle depicts
Aristotle believed that the goal of all human life is to achieve ultimate happiness. Happiness is the final Utopia or the end of “a life worth living.” Human instinct is characterized by achieving personal fulfillment, thus leading to happiness. Aristotle warns against going astray and “preferring a life suitable to beasts” by assuming happiness and pleasure are equal. Living a life preferred by beasts incapacitates a person from achieving the end Utopia. Even though Aristotle does not equate the two, he does stress that minimal pleasure is required to achieve happiness. Someone lacking in vital necessities such as food, clothing, and shelter are not capable of achieving happiness due to their lack of pleasure.