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)

The Pursuit Of Happiness By Chris Gardner Essay

- "The Pursuit of Happyness" is the title of an American film starring actor Will Smith. This film is based on the fascinating true story of Chris Gardner, and tells us the difficulties of a man who struggles to overcome the obstacles to give his child a better life. Striking the name of this movie, because it coincides with part of the Bill of Rights of the Good People of Virginia, June 12, 1776, which preceded one of the most sublimes writings of history, the Declaration of Independence of the United States....   [tags: United States Declaration of Independence]

Strong Essays
971 words (2.8 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)

Essay about Aristotle 's Different Types Of Political States

- Aristotle describes three different types of political states, two of which do not meet the criteria of an excellent city, and one that best suits the citizens to live a self-sufficient and excellent life. Aristotle begins to describe the city-state as a city in which free citizens share in ruling not to merely rule over citizens but to rule over them for the sake of the city. As for the sake of the city is to live a good life and be in pursuit of excellence. The virtue, in this sense, drives the citizens to live a good life around justice because their virtues constitute that that is the greater good of being a citizen of an excellent city....   [tags: Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler, Plato, Aristotle]

Strong Essays
1660 words (4.7 pages)

Essay on A Formal Definition Of Happiness

- A formal definition of happiness can be approached from several perspectives. It can mean the common feeling of living well or flourishing. Happiness is a feeling of completeness and sufficient good. This implies that happiness is desired for itself and not for the sake of anything else. Nowadays happiness is something everybody wants to achieve but has different views on what elements happiness should consist of. Happiness satisfies all the desires and does not have any evil in it and it is, therefore, stable....   [tags: Nicomachean Ethics, Virtue, Meaning of life]

Strong Essays
939 words (2.7 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)

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)