The importance of teleology in Aristotle’s argumentative strategy is apparent in Nicomachean Ethics. Teleology is the explanation of a phenomenon by reference to some end, goal, or function. In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle states that “every skill and every inquiry, and similarly every action and rational choice, is thought to aim at some good (1094a).” This coincides perfectly with the definition of teleology because he is stipulating that everything progresses towards some natural end. Aristotle postulates that the end of human beings and cities is equitable to obtaining the chief good, which has to contain several characteristics: it must be desirable in and of itself and all other goods are desirable for this sake (Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, 1094a). This chief good is the aim of all human activity because Aristotle argues that an infinite progression would otherwise occur if we choose everything for the sake of something else, which would make “our desires fruitless and vain (Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics 1094a).” The best way of life for the city would be to achieve its end by fulfilling its function.
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...s is to live according to the rational part of the soul in accordance with virtue. Similar to Plato, Aristotle believes that rationality is key for individuals to live the best way of life. Both philosophers then describe the best way of life by emphasizing the importance of the ability to reason well.
Aristotle is a staunch adherent of teleology. This perspective shaped his approach in determining the best way of life for the city because its function revolved around the best way of life for the individual. The evaluation of his works, Politics and Nicomachean Ethics, portray the importance Aristotle places on determining the function of the individual in order to determine the best way of life for humans and in turn, the city. This emphasis on the functions of individuals also reveals the similarities of Aristotle’s argument strategy to that of Plato in Republic.
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