Comparing Aristotle And Nietzsche's Definition Of Happiness

Decent Essays
Happiness has always been a tricky thing, both to describe and to attain. Most of the great philosophers – Socrates, Hobbes, even (or perhaps especially) Nietzsche – have struggled to find true substance in this area. Aristotle considered it to be the “Supreme Good”, conjecturing that every action, in order to be considered positive, must contribute to the individual’s happiness and conversely that any positive action will inherently make the individual happier. Not in a hedonistic sense, as material pleasure is rarely lasting, but in reason; humans are rational creatures, and in order to attain genuine, lasting happiness we must utilize that quality to make long-term decisions that cause a positive change in either ourselves or our community. While the term “happiness” simply denotes the emotion, this kind of true happiness is better known as bliss. The word “bliss” comes from Old…show more content…
This clearly makes it a powerful word, as well as underscoring how uncommon the phenomenon is. Joseph Campbell’s famous phrase “follow your bliss” incorporates both of these principles, the physical and rational along with the spiritual (which could be perceived as supernatural), and thus constitutes two things – a method or process and a form or state of being – where the former is used to achieve and maintain the latter. The teachings of Aristotle seem to be highly influential in Campbell’s philosophy. The thought of happiness being the ultimate goal, the Supreme Good, is central to both. Part of the idea of following one’s bliss is moving towards that goal in a methodical way, that there are certain practices we can implement into our daily lives that make us better, stronger people. That method is found partially in
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