In Book 1 of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, he argues that happiness is the best good, and the goal of an individual and of those leading and governing society. Here, happiness is understood as both living well and doing well, rather than the convention sense of happiness as an emotion. According to Aristotle, happiness is achieved though actions involving reason and in accord with virtue, or the best of the virtues of there are more than one. In this paper, I will provide a brief overview of the work and its author, then proceed to provide an overview of the ideas expressed and the argumentation supporting them, before finally performing an analysis and critique of the ideas expressed.
Nietzsche and Aristotle were two of the most significant philosopher of not only their time but their works has lasted throughout the centuries to influence even some today’s greatest minds. Their works however could not be any separated, Aristotle is a prominent figure in ancient Greek philosophy, making contributions to logic, metaphysics, mathematics, physics, biology, botany, ethics, politics, agriculture, medicine, dance and theatre. He was a student of great thinkers such as Plato and Socrates. He believes that ethics is a process to finding the final end or the highest good. He states that although there are many “ends” in life those are usually only means to further ends, our ambitions and wants must have some final purpose. Aristotle believes that this highest end is that of Happiness. He introduces the concept moral virtue which is the ability to properly control desires to follow bad actions, and is the focus of morality. Centered on the core of Aristotle 's account of moral virtue is his doctrine of the mean. According to this doctrine, moral virtues are character traits which are at in-between more extreme character traits. While Nietzsche a German philosopher, essayist, and cultural critic. He believes that "Good" is originally designated only the right of those individuals with social and political power to live their lives by sheer force of will. But a "priestly" caste, motivated by their resentment of their natural superiors, generated a corrupt
Aristotle introduced his theory of life and definition of happiness in “Nicomachean Ethics”. He states “Now such a thing happiness, above all else, is held to be for this we choose always all else, is held to be; for this we choose always for itself and never for the sake of something else, but honour, pleasure, reason, and every virtue we choose indeed for themselves, but we choose
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:
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
He is honored to be author of ‘The Nicomachean Ethics,’ which was in fact the 1st book ever written on the subject of ethics. The book is greatly influential, even in modern times. By an analysis of Aristotle’s literature, it can be observed that he primarily focused on preaching to be ‘virtuous’ rather than focusing on the theories of what ‘virtue’ is. According to him, in whatever way we choose to act, some action that is focused on achieving the desired end result or ‘good’ results comes from that person’s own perspective. Aristotle claimed that the maximum good which a person have desire to achieve is basically an end-point itself , a person’s action or struggles is for achieving that ‘end-point’, it may be regarded as a point of maximum satisfaction. Aristotle critically concluded that the happiness of a person satisfies these conditions completely, and hence the highest attainable good is regarded as happiness.
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
Aristotle believes that happiness is an activity “in accord with virtue.” Happiness is in accord with the most excellent virtue. All men agreed that happiness is to “live well”, but Aristotle expands this further into a whole
In the opening lines of Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle states, “Every craft and every line of inquiry, and likewise every action and decision, seems to seek some good; and that is why some people were right to describe the good at what everything seeks.” Aristotle often wrote about happiness, but so did Epicurus. In a broad sense, Aristotle and Epicurus touched on similar points when discussing happiness. They both believed that happiness is the ultimate goal in life, and that all human measures are taken to reach that goal. While Aristotle and Epicurus’ theories are similar in notion, a closer look proves they are different in many ways. In this paper, we will discuss the differences between Epicurus and Aristotle in their theories on happiness, and expand on some drawbacks of both arguments. Through discussing the drawbacks with both theories, we will also be determining which theory is more logical when determining how to live a happy life.
Aristotle is an ancient Greek philosopher who has played a part in subjects such as mathematics and ethics. As a known student of Plato, Aristotle’s knowledge on various topics immensely affected people’s philosophical views. For Aristotle, his definitions of human happiness and a good life consist of being virtuous all throughout life. Happiness comes from being an overall good person; this is “the best way to lead a life and give it meaning” (Psychology Today). According to Aristotle, happiness is a continuing achievement. “Happiness is more a question of behavior and of habit—of ‘virtue’—than of luck; a person who cultivates such behaviors and habits is able to bear his
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.
In Book II of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle discusses the idea of moral virtue. Aristotle emphasized the importance of developing moral virtue as the way to achieve what is finally more important, human flourishing (eudaimonia). Aristotle makes the argument in Book II that moral virtue arises from habit—equating ethical character to a skill that is acquired through practice, such as learning a musical instrument. However in Book III, Aristotle argues that a person 's moral virtue is voluntary, as it results from many individual actions which are under his own control. Thus, Aristotle confronts us with an inherently problematic account of moral virtue.
To begin, one must learn what happiness means to Aristotle. He considers happiness to be simply the name of the good life. This is not to say that the good life produces
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
Aristotle believed that the goal of all human life is to achieve ultimate happiness. Happiness is the final Utopia or the end of “a life worth living.” Human instinct is characterized by achieving personal fulfillment, thus leading to happiness. Aristotle warns against going astray and “preferring a life suitable to beasts” by assuming happiness and pleasure are equal. Living a life preferred by beasts incapacitates a person from achieving the end Utopia. Even though Aristotle does not equate the two, he does stress that minimal pleasure is required to achieve happiness. Someone lacking in vital necessities such as food, clothing, and shelter are not capable of achieving happiness due to their lack of pleasure.