Essay on Aristotle: The Pursuit of Happiness

Essay on Aristotle: The Pursuit of Happiness

Length: 1374 words (3.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Aristotle and Plato both are both well known for their focus on defining the purpose of being human. To them, humans have a particular characteristic that no other living thing possesses. That characteristic is that humans strive to achieve a level of goodness. Although they agree with each other that there is a highest good one must achieve in order to live a fulfilling life, they have different ideas on what that good is.
On Aristotle’s search to find the highest good of a human being, he first asked what the ergon, or task, of being human is. His main focus was mostly on what the purpose or goal of human existence should be. Aristotle said that everyone is trying to reach happiness, whether it is by having money, love, or being honored. However, according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, he believes that the good we are trying to reach is one ultimate level of experience and that it is “desirable in itself and never for the sake of something else.” All the other good that we experience throughout our lives is just pushing us toward the one thing that will make us happy in the end. Although we may think of being happy as a state of mind, Aristotle thought of it as how you lived your life. In other words, the happiness will not come and go within a couple of minutes or hours. It is a goal that is reached “at the end of one’s life and is a measurement of how well one has lived up to their full potential as a human being” (Shields).
To find where this happiness comes from, Aristotle explored nature through biology. Based off the Stanford Encyclopedia for Philosophy and a website called The Pursuit of Happiness that talks about the history of Aristotle, he knew that what would ultimately make humans happy would have to...


... middle of paper ...


...ristotle/>.
Bowen, Tom. "Reading Questions for Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics." Oakton. Oakton Community College, 16 Jan. 2014. Web. 3 May 2014.
"Comparison of Plato's and Aristotle's Political Theories." Novel Guide. Novel Guide, n.d. Web. 4 May 2014. .
González, Pedro. "Human Nature, Allegory, and Truth in Plato's Republic." The Barry University. The Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal, 2013. Web. 3 May 2014.
Ross, W.D.. "Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle." The Internet Classics Archive. Web Atomics , 2009. Web. 4 May 2014. .
Shields, Christopher. "Aristotle." Stanford University. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 25 Sept. 2008. Web. 3 May 2014. .

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Pursuit of Happiness and the Union of Aristotle and Genesis Essay

- The Pursuit of Happiness and the Union of Aristotle and Genesis Two major schools of thought broadly influenced the development of the moral code of Western Civilization. The Judeo-Christian tradition gave us faith and God through the text of the Bible. The ancient Greeks gave us philosophical inquiry and "the Good" through the teachings of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. In his Nichomachean Ethics, Aristotle proposes that "the Good" is the highest end of man’s actions. Happiness is "the Good" because it is the only end man pursues with no other end in mind....   [tags: Philosophy Essays]

Strong Essays
2821 words (8.1 pages)

Happiness Is an Activity Essay

- In this paper I will discuss Aristotle’s claim that happiness is a kind of activity and not a momentary pleasure. Some people might worry that Aristotle is wrong in making this claim by presuming that happiness is a state of mind rather than a constant pursuit in which a person must actively strive for throughout the entirety of ones life. I will argue that Aristotle is correct when he declares that happiness is a kind of activity that we strive for and ultimately attain throughout the entirety of our lives rather than just a feeling or state that we happen to have at any given moment....   [tags: Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics]

Strong Essays
1297 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on The Pursuit of Happiness in Fahrenheit 451

- Happiness plays an important and necessary role in the lives of people around the world. In America, happiness has been engrained in our national consciousness since Thomas Jefferson penned these famous words in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” (Jefferson). Since then, Americans have been engaged in that act: pursuing happiness....   [tags: Fahrenheit 451 Essays]

Free Essays
2866 words (8.2 pages)

Comparison of Aristotle and Thomas Hobbes Essay

- The foremost difference between Aristotle and Hobbes, and in turn classical and modern political philosophies’, with regard to a good life and happiness is that of normative judgments about the good life. While Hobbes rejects normative judgments about the good life and discusses human actions without attributions of moral quality, Aristotle offers the exact opposite. In Ethics, Aristotle differentiates between good and evil actions along with what the best good, or summum bonum, for all humans while Hobbes approach argues that good and bad varies from one individual to another with good being the object of an individuals appetite or desire, and evil being an object of his hate and aversion....   [tags: Aristotle vs Hobbes]

Strong Essays
1039 words (3 pages)

The Pursuit of Excellence Brings Happiness, Creativity, Human Fulfillment, and Enables Self-Actualization

- Excellence is a distinctive attribute or characteristics possesses by Human being. This characteristic empowers human being to stretch their ability to make a distinction over human. Excellence doesn’t come through culture, wealth, and education. It occurs when a person with right mindset extend his exceptional ability to pursue personal and professional life. The Prophet Muhammad PBUH is an example of excellence. Everyone possesses some skills, talents, and proficiency in particular area, therefore acknowledge the existence, and lives the life of difference....   [tags: esteem, steve jobs, pleasure]

Strong Essays
683 words (2 pages)

Aristotle's Political Virtues Essay

- Aristotle's Political Virtues ABSTRACT: This paper argues that Aristotle conceives happiness not primarily as an exercise of virtue in private or with friends, but as the exercise of virtue in governing an ideal state. The best states are knit together so tightly that the interests of one person are the same as the interests of all. Hence, a person who acts for his or her own good must also act for the good of all fellow citizens. It follows that discussions of Aristotle’s altruism and egoism are misconceived....   [tags: Aristotle Politics Philosophy Essays]

Strong Essays
3458 words (9.9 pages)

Essay about Happiness and the Golden Mean

- In the Declaration of Independence, it states that all men, being equal by nature, have the equal right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is interesting from Thomas Jefferson’s point of view that he says that we have the right to pursue happiness. When he said this, what did he mean in ways of understanding it and pursing this happiness. To live, as we have experienced, is itself a means to living well. The same applies to freedom. We cannot pursue happiness if we cannot freely carry out the choices we make....   [tags: declaration of independence, equal rights]

Strong Essays
1406 words (4 pages)

True Happiness Essay

- According to Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics, happiness is the ultimate end of humanity, as everything humans do is done in order to obtain it, and it is gained via the achievement of full excellence of the soul. Happiness is the greatest of all human good, because, as an end, it is an end unto itself, meaning that humans do not use it as a means to any other end. It is not conditional happiness that Aristotle lauds, but rather something that is more akin to the modern definition of joy. The practice of virtue, both intellectual and moral, is required to condition the soul into the state of ultimate excellence, and thus to obtain happiness....   [tags: Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics]

Strong Essays
916 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on Aristotle and His Theories

- Am Phronesis According to Aristotle and his theories, there are two basic types of intellectual virtues by which we live our lives. The two intellectual virtues that he speaks of are wisdom and phronesis. Wisdom is a virtue that we are able to gain and increase throughout our lives through experience and time. Of the two different intellectual virtues that Aristotle speaks of, wisdom is more of a scientific knowledge, it is the type of knowledge that would be expected of an intellect. While phronesis is not a virtue acquired through an education or books, it is more of a virtue that is learned and built from social interaction and real life experiences....   [tags: essays research papers]

Strong Essays
1982 words (5.7 pages)

Essay on Aristotle vs. Plato

- Aristotle vs. Plato Excellence is a function which renders excellent the thing of which it is a function is Plato’s definition of virtue. What does this definition really mean though. Plato and Aristotle both had their own unique arguments devoted to the topic at hand, and their own ways of describing what virtue really is. Defining virtue may seem to be an easy taste, but to truly understand the arguments behind the definition can prove to be very challenging.      Before discussing virtue, the sole must first be considered....   [tags: Virtue Philosophy Life Essays Papers]

Strong Essays
1406 words (4 pages)