The Aristotle's Idea of a Good Life Essay

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Question: What is Aristotle’s idea of a good life and why does he view a good life in this way? Is Aristotle’s understanding of a good life accurate? Why or why not? (Make sure to talk about the concept of the mean). To Aristotle leading a good life, for the most part, means fulfilling one’s purpose in a way that is good by balancing life’s pleasures. In order to determine if an object fulfills its function in a good way, we must first consider the object. If we were to agree that a car should be reliable, then we could also agree that reliable car should be considered a good car. Similarly, animals, for example, possess certain traits like the power of locomotion, and the desire to seek nourishment and reproduce. According to…show more content…
Aristotle studied under Plato, who studied under Socrates, yet Aristotle tended to be more real-world oriented with regard to how he thought. Aristotle has come to be known as the father of logic, and has been credited as the first person to classify knowledge in specific categories like mathematics, and biology. Indeed, his sound reasoning skills and belief in the scientific method form the framework for much of his work, and his idea of a good life is probably no different (Richter, 2008). Aristotle was an observer of nature, and recognized the need for balance in natural systems. He could have reasoned that since humans are products of nature, we too must find a balance with-in our environments. This probably led to the idea of a golden mean, or balance between two extremes that humans should strive to achieve. The golden mean is not an exact middle or average in the mathematical sense, but rather a flexible guideline that can vary depending on the situation. In this way, it could be said that courage is the desirable trait that exists between cowardliness and recklessness. However, where courage lies between these two extremes varies from situation to situation, so a baseline cannot be defined to cover every case. For example, risking one’s life in battle to save the lives of others would be considered a courageous act, while risking one’s life through heavy alcohol or
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