A Comparison Of Aristotle And Jean-Baptiste Clamence

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Midterm Essay 2 Aristotle and Jean-Baptiste Clamence have two distinct views on human nature and reason for happiness. Human nature for Aristotle is that we are the rational and political animals that have a soul. As for Jean-Baptiste, human nature is absurd and that we will fail. Happiness for Aristotle is the rejection of nihilism which is that nothing in this world has real meaning. The greatest form of happiness for Aristotle is what he calls Eudaimonia, which is highest form of life or the life of rationally governed life of contemplation. On the contrary, Jean-Baptiste sulks in the fact that we all have flaws so we fail to be truly happy and the things that we do aren’t really making us happy. Clamence is misinformed with the telos…show more content…
By this, he means that we are the animals that think, not necessarily just act on our animalistic instincts. Aristotle dissects and goes through a taxonomy of human and animal qualities to deduce the differences between both the genuses and species. He concludes, that we as the rational and political animal, reason and we come together in society as a community. Humans are the only animals that have the capability to think and reason rationally, hence we have the ability to be happy. Happiness comes actualizing our potential and living the “best”, or the “fullest” expression of human life. By understanding this, we can understand his reason that we have the ability to be happy and ultimately what steps and initiatives that we need to take in order to reach Eudaimonia. Aristotle insists that our happiness depends on our wants, our desires, using reason to govern our irrational desires. This comes from our inner self, but in order to achieve such state we need to, in essence, act on our political animal that he describes. In book one, Aristotle lays down two provisions that happiness needs to be satisfied. He states happiness must be perfect and that it must be self-sufficient. Not by himself, as he describes as being solitary, but by the means of parents, siblings, spouse,

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