Aristotle and the Book of Nicomanchean Ethics Essay

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Aristotle and the Book of Nicomanchean Ethics

In Book I of Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle states that the ultimate human goal or end is happiness. Aristotle describes the steps required for humans to obtain happiness. Aristotle states that activity is an important requirement of happiness. He states that a happy person cannot be inactive. He then goes on to say that living a life of virtue is something pleasurable in itself. The virtuous person takes pleasure in doing virtuous things. The role of virtue is an important one for Aristotle. Without virtue, it seems one cannot obtain happiness. Virtue acts as a linking factor to happiness.
Aristotle states that the human function is the life activity of the part of the soul that has
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First, one has to know the act is virtuous. Second, one has to intend to do it for its own sake. Therefore, one is not expecting anything in return as a result of the action. Thirdly, the action has to be done by one who, when he acts he does so in a certain and firm manner. Aristotle makes the conclusion that most humans do not actually act virtuously. They instead discuss and philosophize about these actions, but do not act on them. This, Aristotle said, is unacceptable because one will not actually accomplish anything by just talking about it.
Following the distinctions of what equates to a virtuous character, Aristotle describes what aspect of the soul results in virtue. Aristotle states that there main aspects of the soul. One being that involving feelings. Feelings are the raw human emotions which humans experience. The next aspect is being that which involves power. Power is humans’ disposition to certain feelings and their ability to be affected by them. The last aspect is that which involves habit. Aristotle concludes that the first two aspects cannot result in or involve virtue because the nature of feelings and power are not subject to praise or blame. They cannot be considered good or bad, because they are beyond our control. They exist due to nature. The last aspect of habit is the one which results in virtue. Habits involve the way one responds to the previous two elements which are beyond human control. Habit is the aspect which does involve human control
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