The Pursuit Of Happiness By Aristotle

1156 Words5 Pages
The pursuit of happiness is the reason for our existence (Aristotle, 2004) The Greek word that usually gets translated as "happiness" is eudaimonia, and like most translations from ancient languages, there is a loss of deeper meaning in translation. According to Aristotle happiness (eudaimonia) is the central purpose of human life and a goal in itself (Aristotle, 2004) (Creed, Wardman 1963). Because of this ideology, Aristotle devoted much of his time discussing and explaining this philosophy (Hughes, 2001). Even though he lived on the other side of the world as Mencius, they both came to similar conclusions about happiness – it is the cultivation of virtue (Creed, Wardman 1963). These virtues when studied are more individualistic when compared to Confucian or Buddhist ideology. To Aristotle happiness was not just the not just a result of one facet of life but all facets - mental, spiritual, physical and social (Hardie, 1980). In this way he introduced the idea of that the purpose (telos) of humanity was to pursue happiness (Eudemonia) (Aristotle, 2004) (Creed, Wardman 1963). In this paper I will discuss: what Eudemonia and telos are according to Aristotle and why I agree that the only life worth living is one that pursues his definition of happiness.
One of Aristotle 's most influential works is the Nicomachean Ethics. In these lectures he presents a theory of happiness that is still pondered today (Creed, Wardman 1963). The central question presented is ‘What is the
Get Access