Aristotle 's Views Of Virtue And Happiness Essay

Aristotle 's Views Of Virtue And Happiness Essay

Length: 1631 words (4.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Is an action choice worthy for its own sake only if it would be a worthy choice, whether or not it served further ends? How, then, can such virtuous actions be choice worthy for their own sakes? This research paper will examine Aristotle’s views of virtue and happiness based on his Nichomachean Ethics. The Nicomachean Ethics was the first book written on ethics that was meant to teach us on how to be virtuous. Aristotle assumes that all of our actions should be aimed toward one ultimate end, and that is for the highest good. The goal of every person in life is too be happy and to have the ability to choose between different courses of actions; this concept of happiness is implied throughout Nichomachean. In it, Aristotle states that happiness consists in being noble and having the excellence of character and of thinking. Some of these concepts such as virtuous actions, human nature, free will, and choice, will be addressed in this paper. The original paper was based on an article written by Yannig Luthra that criticizes John Ackrill 's and Jennifer Whiting 's answers to Aristotle claims that virtuous actions are choice worthy for their own sake and that many virtuous actions are chosen for securing further ends. In the article, Luthra proposes an alternative to Aristotle’s thinking, by linking the choice worthiness of virtuous actions to the pleasure, nobility, and beauty to be found in them and that actions are choice worthy for their own sake when they have a dimension of goodness that helps makes them choice worthy, which goes beyond the goodness of mere necessities. In order to expand on this subject, the following source were cited; Abraham Edel’s “Right and Good”, David Hume’s “A Treatise of Human Nature, Book III and Hojjat...


... middle of paper ...


...t over time. This concept can be found in Book II of the Nicomachean Ethics. For Aristotle, traits are second nature that can foster a good life but only by cultivating virtues and controlling ones passions in the right ways. Good moral judgment is not natural, but a process. He states that good virtues can only originate through teaching, and are developed into habits (NE II: 1, 1103a). Aristotle 's believed that moral principles are acquired by habituation which is different from human attributes existing by nature and those existing by choice and those characterized by choice "we get [them] first by exercising them" (NE II:1, 1103a). Aristotle sees it as an action we learn by doing and virtues are not automatically within us. In Aristotle 's words, "we are adapted by nature to receive [virtues] and are made perfect by habit" (NE II: 1, 1003a). Aristotle 's states,

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Aristotle 's Views On Happiness Essay

- ... Aristotle says that a person should be consciously acting virtuous because this would result in him living a happy life (221, 1105a30). This takes time and a person must constantly repeat these actions to achieve the end goal of being virtuous (221, 1105b5). 3.) Virtue is what allows a person “to perform their functions well…the state that makes a human being good” (223, 1106a20). Aristotle goes on to claim that virtue is needed to find the middle ground or the equilibrium (223, 1106a25). The goal for humans is to understand that they need to find the middle of their passions....   [tags: Virtue, Ethics, Plato, Meaning of life]

Strong Essays
1231 words (3.5 pages)

Aristotle 's Views On Virtue Ethics Essay

- ... He believed that we should always stay in the mean which is the midpoint between two extremes (Nicomachean Ethics, p.77). Aristotle also believed that the true good for humans is happiness, he explains that the true good for humans is something that is always going to be chosen just for its own sake. I agree with Aristotle’s view because I think that too much of something is a bad thing and that we should not have too much or too little of a certain quality. With this being said I agree with him that we should have a midpoint between extremes....   [tags: Ethics, Virtue, Nicomachean Ethics]

Strong Essays
1003 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Human Happiness And External Goods

- Ashley Janowiak Human Happiness and External goods Happiness is a goal every human pursues, yet the ways in which it is pursued differs amongst people. Some believe prosperity will bring them happiness. Others believe material, power, fame, success, or love will bring them happiness. No matter what one believes is the right way to conquer this goal, every person will take their own unique path in an attempt to find it. But what is happiness. Happiness is often viewed as a subjective state of mind in which one may say they are happy when they are on vacation with friends, spending time with their family, or having a cold beer on the weekend while basking in the sun....   [tags: Ethics, Happiness, Nicomachean Ethics, Virtue]

Strong Essays
2347 words (6.7 pages)

Kant And Aristotle 's Views On Moral Virtue Essay

- Philosophers Immanuel Kant and Aristotle have presented different accounts of what it means to be morally virtuous. Kant believes that inclination or desire is irrelevant to moral virtue, however, Aristotle believes that they are relevant to each other. I will argue that Kant presents the more convincing account of moral virtue. There are three philanthropist cases that can be critiqued according to Kant and Aristotle. The first case involves a happy philanthropist who donates money to a cause and spreads joy around her....   [tags: Ethics, Morality, Logic, Virtue]

Strong Essays
1012 words (2.9 pages)

Aristotle 's Theory Of Virtue Ethics Essay

- ... For Aristotle, happiness is the human final end or goal that encompasses the whole of one’s life, it is not just a pleasurable sensation or a weekend thrill. It is one’s entire life, the full value of how one lived their life and lived to the full potential as a human being. In order to achieve the life of complete virtue, we need to make the right choices, and this involves keeping our eye on the future, on the ultimate result we want for our lives as a whole (Aristotle). We will not achieve happiness simply by enjoying the pleasures of the moment....   [tags: Ethics, Virtue, Confucius, Virtue ethics]

Strong Essays
1298 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on Aristotle and Plato's Views on Reality

- Aristotle and Plato were both great thinkers but their views on realty were different. Plato viewed realty as taking place in the mind but Aristotle viewed realty is tangible. Even though Aristotle termed reality as concrete, he stated that reality does not make sense or exist until the mind process it. Therefore truth is dependent upon a person’s mind and external factors. According to Aristotle, things are seen as taking course and will eventually come to a stop when potential is reached. The entire process of potential to actuality is call causation....   [tags: Aristotle, Plato, philosophy, ]

Strong Essays
983 words (2.8 pages)

Aristotle Was A Great Philosopher Essay examples

- Aristotle was a great Greek philosopher that was born 384 B.C.E. on the Macedonian peninsula in Norther Greece and died 322 B.C.E. in Chalcis, Euboea. He was the apprentice of Plato and the mentor to Alexander the Great. He is regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of all time just like his mentor and his mentor before him. Aristotle had many great accomplishments through his life such as building the lyceum and writing many great books like The Organon, The Metaphysics, and Nicomachean Ethics....   [tags: Aristotle, Plato, Virtue, Alexander the Great]

Strong Essays
1018 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about Aristotle And Hume 's Views On Morality

- Aristotle & David Hume Aristotle and David Hume share very clashing views on morality. Aristotle and Hume both believe in the possibility of being a virtuous person and both emphasize importance when it comes to reason, but their respective definitions of what virtue and reason actually mean differ drastically. Aristotle believes all human actions aim at some good, while Hume believes the reason behind everything is arithmetic and that human passions rule over reason. There is one supreme good according to Aristotle, but Hume believes what is good and bad all depends on perception....   [tags: Ethics, Virtue, Morality, Human]

Strong Essays
2051 words (5.9 pages)

The Moral Character Of Virtue Ethics Essay example

- Moral character is what dictates an individual 's decision making and affects their experiences throughout their life. A person 's morals can be based off one 's upbringing and environmental factors. Virtue ethics is a philosophical view that greatly supports this claim that the choices a person makes and their actions follow those choices, and display their moral character. This is more likely to be true than Kantianism, because this type of ethical view is based off Immanuel Kant, a philosophical thinker whose emphasizes that his writings and beliefs influence the choices people make....   [tags: Ethics, Morality, Immanuel Kant, Virtue ethics]

Strong Essays
1438 words (4.1 pages)

Philosophy: Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle Essay

- What is the good. How do we know what the good is. How do we attain the good. What are the major obstacles in attaining the good. These questions have a great practical importance for individual as well as collective life. However, disagreements emerge when it comes to answering these questions. Throughout history, philosophers, theologians and other thinkers have tried to resolve these disagreements by providing their own and ‘new’ understanding of what is Good. In this essay, I will explain how Aristotle and Augustine have understood this ideal and how they have answered these questions....   [tags: aristotle, augustine, good]

Strong Essays
1339 words (3.8 pages)