Aristotle and Kant on Happiness, Morality, and Normative Force

3957 Words Feb 3rd, 2018 16 Pages
Do you think Happiness no matter how formulated is the purpose of our lives? Defend. For most of us, achieving some state of Happiness is a core objective. Indeed, in a great many of the philosophical musings on the very purpose of our lives here on Earth will tend to focus on the importance of achieving happiness, of sharing happiness and of bringing happiness to others. It is therefore reasonable to propose the knee-jerk response that happiness is the end in and of itself. However, as Kant asserts, this is an incomplete understanding of our supposed purpose here. As the 18th Century German philosopher asserts, happiness lived without the principle of good will, can have the capacity to be a rather unsavory force. According to Kant, in fact, this concept of good will is a core determinant as to whether the characteristics by which we can be defined may be considered virtues or vices. Kant argues that this truth "holds with gifts of fortune; power, riches, honor, even health, and that complete well-being and contentment with one's condition which is called happiness make for pride and often hereby even arrogance, unless there is a good will to correct their influence on the mind and herewith also to rectify the whole principle of action and make it universally comfortable to its end." (Kant, p. 7) This principle underlies the initial rejection of the assumption that Happiness, however formulated, is the…
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