John Stuart Mill and Aristotle both address the idea of happiness as the goal of human life. They explain that all human action is at the foundation of their moral theories. Mill addresses the Greatest Happiness Principle, which is the greatest amount of pleasure to the least amount of pain. Similarly, Aristotle addresses happiness through the idea of eudaimonia and human flourishing. According to Aristotle, eudaimonia is happiness, it is the state of contemplation that individuals are in when they have reached actualized happiness. Also referred to as happiness or human flourishing, it is the ultimate goal of human beings. Happiness is “living well and acting well.” He explains that once general happiness becomes recognized as the moral standard, natural sentiment will nurture feelings that promote utilitarianism. According to Aristotle, happiness is a state of being. Both Mill and Aristotle agree that in order to attain true happiness, human beings must engage in activities that are distinct to humans and that make them happy. Aristotle’s idea of eudaimonia and human flourishing is a more compelling argument than Mill’s for happiness and the final end because Aristotle explains that the virtues bring human beings to happiness.
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
Aristotle says humans need a clearer statement of what the best good is. Human beings already have happiness to chase after; but Aristotle believes there are different kinds of happiness. With the different types we get people trying to strive for different types of happiness and are maybe unclear as to which one to chase. This is where Aristotle says the confusion comes in. We need a clearer explantion of happiness and what it is. From reading book one we can see there are four subcatergories of happiness; which are material, formal, efficient and final. Aristotle is trying to get at which one is the most important one to us as human beings. It is really to see that humans want money, pleasure, and to be trusted and honored because we believe that these goods will lead us to being happy. It also seems that all other goods are ways towards finding
In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle discussed his theory of happiness and attempted to answer the many questions related to what makes people happy. Questions asked were “What is the purpose of human existence?” “What is the end goal we are trying to achieve so that we know how we should conduct ourselves?” With so many people seeking pleasure through a variety of means such a wealth, reputation, personal belongings and friends, they may be missing the mark when it comes to happiness. While these each have a value attached to them, none of them contains what is truly needed to be described as the “good” we should be aiming toward. According to Aristotle, to be an ultimate end, an act must be self-sufficient and final, “that which is always desirable in itself and never for the sake of something else” (Nicomachean Ethics, 1097a30-34)
The central notion of Aristotle is eudaimonia or “happiness” which is best translated as a flourishing human life . Happiness is a complete and sufficient
In these sessions, I have gained a better understanding of Aristotle and Plato’s ideas and theories. Particularly, I have a specific interest in Aristotle and the notion of the two extremes and to aim towards the “gray or middle of the road”. I also have an interest in Plato’s theory regarding the just and unjust and the repercussions of their actions.
Aristotle’s concept of happiness stems from his search to find the “Highest Good” for man. His process starts with the idea of ends. An end is a good at which all things aim. An end can be considered to be an end “goal”. He makes the point that there is a cycle where you aim for an end which will help you achieve another end, which will help you achieve another end. An example of this is going to college. You study hard in high school to achieve the end of
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:
An ethical issue that is debated in our society is the concern of driving while intoxicated. Although this was naturally not the case during Aristotle&#8217;s time, many of his ethical beliefs can be applied to refute this dilemma. I will prove the standing issue to be unethical through Aristotle&#8217;s discussion of virtue and his concept of voluntary/involuntary actions in the Nicomachean Ethics.
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).
“For we may be said to desire all things as means to something else except indeed happiness, as happiness is the end or perfect state” (page 230, Mayfield). As Aristotle said that our ultimate goal is happiness but in order to reach happiness you have to succeed. “Relaxation then is not an end. We enjoy it as a means to activity; but it seems that the happy life is a life of virtue, and such a life is serious, it is not one of mere amusement. We speak of serious things too as better than things which are ridiculous and amusing, and of the activity of
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
Is life really about the 'money', the 'cash', the 'hoes', who has the biggest gold chain or who drives the shiniest or fastest car, who sells the most albums or who has the most respect? Aristotle challenges views, which are similar to the ones held and shown by rap artists such as Jay-Z and the Notorious B.I.G., by observing that everything in the universe, including humans, has a telos, or goal in life. He states that the goal of a human life is to achieve happiness or eudaimonia. I believe that Aristotle is completely correct in his reasoning of the purpose of human nature. He even explains how happiness is different for every person, and each different type of person has a different idea of eudaimonia. He then
According to the philosophy of happiness (14, 15, 16 & 17), Aristotle stated the factors that make happiness as good health, money, relationships and good moral behavior. Aristotle pointed out that happiness was the ultimate desire for human being leaving nothing more to be desired. The happiness is sought for its own sake unlike other things which are sought in order to achieve happiness. Aristotle understood that for an individual to be happy one must be of good morals and can suffer to achieve the greater happiness later in the long run. Many individuals believe that
truths, and forms. He had no room in his views for imagination and what he saw