Nicomachean Ethics: Leading a Virtuous Life

880 Words3 Pages
Nicomachean Ethics (APA Citation) From the beginning of their evolution, human beings have been searching for the meaning of happiness. While many may see this to be an inconsequential question, others have devoted entire lives to the search for happiness. One such person who devoted a great deal of thought to the question of man's happiness was the famous ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle. In his book The Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle discussed the meaning of happiness and what it meant to live a good life. He asserted that the devise which has been invented to create what is good for man is called "politics;" and it "uses the rest of the sciences"¦so that this end must be the good for man." (Aristotle, I, ii) Aristotle also identified four general means by which people live their lives in order to gain happiness, but stated that only one was a means by which a person could actually attain it. According to Aristotle, it was not political power, wealth, or worldly pleasures by which a person could achieve real happiness, it was living a contemplative life. Politics may have been the tool by which man creates good, but politics does not mean the same thing as living a political life. Aristotle claimed that those who engaged in a political life do so out of vanity in order to gain personal honor. Because this only serves to inflate a single person's ego, this is considered to be an empty and vain course of action. Two other ways of life that Aristotle believed were
Open Document