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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...it is necessary to examine human virtue. Something is considered to have reason in two senses: that which has reason in itself and that which listens to reason. These two senses are the origin of the distinction between intellectual and ethical virtues, respectively. The understanding of virtue and happiness is justified in the ideal that happiness is to be found in pleasure, others that it is to be found in honor, and others that it is to be found in contemplation. Happiness is not found in living for pleasure because such a life is slavish. Nor is it found in seeking honor because honor depends not on the person but on what others think of him. In order to be successful in an organization it is key to find a balance between two extremes that is an end within itself, that’s why Aristotle strongly believes that happiness is acquired through political organization.
Aristotle argued that the goal of human beings is happiness, and that we achieve happiness when we fulfill our function. Therefore, it is necessary to determine what our function is. The function of a thing, or its telos, is what it alone can do, or what it can do best. Like the function of the eye is to see, Aristotle declared the human being as the "rational animal" whose function...
Happiness is my emotional state when I feel positive emotions. It is the feeling I get when I am enjoying something. This is a familiar concept for all of us, but when Aristotle talks about “happiness” in Nicomachean Ethics, it does not coincide with our modern notions of happiness. “Happiness” is really valuable for Aristotle as he considers it to be the highest good of man and that which every action aims at. He considers it to be something divine.
Aristotle brings up a very difference between the two. Animals don’t have the ability to speak, however, they live just fine without needing that skill. Groups of animals are able to live together without making laws or enforcing justice, but people cannot. Aristotle looked at humans as political animals. Nature by itself is not enough for people to live together. Aristotle thinks how it is possible for humans to live together and he comes up with the big picture of a city. A city without the right laws, justice, and practicing the right virtues makes humans the worst of all animals. However, humans are the best animal when exercise all the right values.
(A). To begin with, what is happiness in the opinion of Aristotle? For him, these are not material blessings, not spent on pleasure and entertainment life, not success and not wealth. Happiness is first and foremost a coincidence of the virtue of a person with the external situation. In his book "Nicomachean Ethics," Aristotle says: "Happiness is the highest good of man." But what is good? According to Aristotle, it is a constant activity based on the best and most perfect virtues, which are formed through bodily and external benefits, such as health and wealth. According to Aristotle, the human good is hidden in the perfection of the three forces:
Aristotle believes that happiness is the ultimate goal in life. You can’t reach happiness unless you work hard and become successful. That is where virtue comes into play. A human’s function is to engage in “an activity of the soul which is in accordance with virtue” and which “is in conformity with reason” (page 76, Palmer). The two kinds of virtue are intellectual and moral. Our virtues are what make us all individual and all different. Intellectual virtues are what we are born with and what we learn. It is our nature as humans and what we have inherited that makes desire to learn. As humans, we develop wisdom to help guide us to a good life. With the intellectual virtue you develop two different kinds of wisdom: practical and philosophical. Practical wisdom is your rational actions. The highest virtue is philosophical wisdom, which is scientific, disinterested, and contemplative. Moral virtues are what we learn from imitation, practice and our habits we developed. Moral virtues are what we have learned from our society. “Neither by nature, then, nor contrary to nature do the virtues arise in us; rather we are adapted by nature to receive them, and are made perfect by habit” (page 223, Mayfield). This quote is explaining how you need both the intellectual virtue (nature) and the moral virtue (habit).
Aristotle believes the only way to reach a state of happiness is through virtue. The virtue that is to be practiced is meant to guide our behaviors in society and to learn the meaning of moderation. Aristotle deems human happiness as more then attaining the pleasures of life but satisfying the human potentialities. Reaching such abilities could be seen by making logical choices and being able to choose the needs in life rather then the wants. At this point it shows that Aristotle contends that a society that includes citizens that he believes are of human excellence will reflect the same values upon it’s state.
It was Aristotle’s belief that everything, including humans, had a telos or goal in life. The end result or goal was said to be happiness or “eudaimonia”. He explained that eudaimonia was different for each person, and that each had a different idea of what it meant. Further, he said that people must do things in moderation, but at the same time do enough. The theory, of “the golden mean of moderation” was the basis to Aristotle's idea of the human telos and concluded that living a virtuous life must be the same for all people. Aristotle maintained that the natural human goal to be happy could only be achieved once each individual determined his/her goal. A person’s telos is would usually be what that individual alone can do best. Aristotle described the humans as "rational animals" whose telos was to reason. Accordingly, Aristotle thought that in order for humans to be happy, they would have to be able to reason, and to be governed by reason. If a person had difficulty behaving morally or with ethics, he was thought to be “imperfect”. Moral virtue, a principle of happiness, was the ability to evade extremes in behavior and further to find the mean between it and adequacy. Aristotle’s idea of an ideal state was one where the populous was able to practice eth...
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. However, Aristotle and the Stoics define happiness much differently. In Aristotle’s
His philosophical theory was very simple and he wanted to teach people how to be happy. He stated “In all our activities there is an end, which we seek for its own sake, and everything else is a means to this end…Happiness is this ultimate end. It is the end we seek in all that we do.” What Aristotle means is that everything we do in our daily activities and actions is all leading up to the end result which is happiness. For example, I work and attend school full time and everything that I do is sub goals leading towards being a successful person which causes me to be happy. Aristotle says happiness is also found in our feelings. A personal example is I love my family and it makes me happy having people to care about and to support them. Sub goals on the way, such as making an A in a class or finishing college and getting a degree are self-awarding pleasures that create happiness. Those are a few examples that make me happy and doing well and succeeding is the key to happiness. For happiness to happen in general, people need to have a reason or virtue in our lives. That everyone has their strong suites about themselves and we need to express and share them with others to help others grow as well. What I understand from Aristotle’s theories of happiness is that our feelings and good actions and being able to control them is what makes us
1.) Aristotle begins by claiming that the highest good is happiness (198, 1095a20). In order to achieve this happiness, one must live by acting well. The highest good also needs to be complete within itself, Aristotle claims that, “happiness more than anything else seems complete without qualification, since we always…choose it because of itself, never because of something else (204, 1097b1). Therefore, Aristotle is claiming that we choose things and other virtues for the end goal of happiness. Aristotle goes on to define happiness as a self-sufficient life that actively tries to pursue reason (205, 1098a5). For a human, happiness is the soul pursuing reason and trying to apply this reason in every single facet of life (206, 1098a10). So, a virtuous life must contain happiness, which Aristotle defines as the soul using reason. Next, Aristotle explains that there are certain types of goods and that “the goods of the soul are said to be goods to the fullest extent…” (207, 1098b15). A person who is truly virtuous will live a life that nourishes their soul. Aristotle is saying “that the happy person lives well and does well…the end
Aristotle feels we have a rational capacity and the exercising of this capacity is the perfecting of our natures as human beings. For this reason, pleasure alone cannot establish human happiness, for pleasure is what animals seek and human beings have higher capacities than animals. The goal is to express our desires in ways that are appropriate to our natures as rational animals. Aristotle states that the most important factor in the effort to achieve happiness is to have a good moral character, what he calls complete virtue. 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. We will not achieve happiness simply by enjoying the pleasures of the moment. We must live righteous and include behaviors in our life that help us do what is right and avoid what is wrong. It is not enough to think about doing the right thing, or even intend to do the right thing, we have to actually do it. Happiness can occupy the place of the chief good for which humanity should aim. To be an ultimate end, an act must be independent of any outside help in satisfying one’s needs and final, that which is always desirable in itself and never for the sake of something else and it must be
Aristotle describes three types of life in his search for human flourishing: lives of gratification, politics, and contemplation. He contends that there is a single Idea of Good that all men seek, and he finds that happiness, or eudaimonia, best fits his criteria. Aristotle investigates the human purpose to find how happiness is best achieved, and finds that a life of activity and contemplation satisfies our purpose, achieving the most complete happiness in us. Aristotle is correct regarding the necessity of activity, but restricts the theory to only the life of study. We will reject this restriction, and instead allow any life of virtue and productivity to substitute for Aristotle’s life of study. One primary means of remaining active to achieve happiness includes loving friendships, which only happen to the virtuous. Thus human flourishing is living a life of virtue, activity, and productivity.
... our society, where good deeds are preformed with the hope of being rewarded, it is more than evident that personal happiness dominates. Personal happiness is not always bad, however, it just seems that the majority of times in our society it is dominated by self-interest. The domination of self-interest is seen everyday in the modern business world with companies unfairly using monopolies to eliminate their competition and also governments trying to invade other countries or regions in order to maximize their territory. It seems that unless the motive of self-interest is eliminated from the pursuit of happiness, we most likely will not experience the type of well being that Aristotle was describing.