The Is The Supreme Good

Decent Essays

In Book I of the Ethics, Aristotle understands the end to all human activity to be happiness which is the supreme good. This is because all human activity aims to whatever we consider to be good. The highest ends are ends within themselves, while subordinate ends may only be ends to higher ends. This means that the highest end must be the supreme good. Everyone can agree that that the supreme good is happiness, but many people disagree on what the faulty in which the nature of happiness stems from. For some people they equate happiness with pleasure. This is problematic because that faulty is not indicative to only human beings, for animals also engage in various activity to feel a sensation of pleasure. This can be hunting or obtaining food to satisfy appetite or mating to satisfy the feelings of euphoria from sensual stimulation. Both humans and animals can identify with this but it is not considered the highest end because it is an end to a higher end. Secondly, others consider honor with being the greatest good, but this is also problematic because honor depends on how others perceive you and honor is also conferred as recognition of goodness, so there must be a greater good that honors reward. Another indication that happiness is the ultimate goal of all activities, is Aristotle’s use of the word telos in relation to happiness. Every activity has a telos that can explain the reasoning behind why we partake in certain activities. Happiness is the ultimate telos for there

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