The definition of happiness is first finding the common definition, which is a perfect common good (Penguin Classics, 1998). Happiness is the main goal in life and if achieved lives will be complete and be lacking in nothing, obtaining it would be absolute perfection (Shields, 2007). Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and scientist who understood happiness as a common goal shared among all humans, happiness was the achievement of human flourishing something he called ‘eudaimonia’ (Sober, 2009). Eudaimonia translates as the perfect happiness, human excellence and fulfillment, a universal interest to everyone, and a quality of goodness that enables a person to be able to reflect on their life and be happy with it (Brook, 2015, p. 315). Human …show more content…
For Aquinas the last end of happiness can only be with God because he is perfect goodness and is the only one capable of fulfilling our hearts desire (Van-Nieuwenhove & Wawrykow, 2005). In order to have perfect happiness the ultimate good must provide a sustained sense of happiness and fulfillment leaving nothing more to be desired. This is why Aquinas believed it was found in the absolute being of God as nothing else in this lifetime could be equivalent to it (Davies, 1993). Human flourishing cannot be achieved through pleasure, short term desire, material wealth or status (Stephens, 2015, p. 323). When a person show signs that they are still searching for something else, like I did when I started questioning myself ‘is this it?’ desire had not come to rest, and even though in my mind my goal of marriage had been achieved I needed to stop and evaluate my own desires and realize I had been completely neglecting them and I had not in fact reached the ultimate good. Pleasure is not the goal of human life but it does accompany the good life as pleasure can never truly satisfy (Sober, …show more content…
The importance of the ultimate good must act as an entire rule of life, we must behave in a matter that is tending to the perfect good (Stephens, 2015, p. 324). Aquinas argues that for every action there must be an order of intention, that there must be a final cause that motivates us to act in the first place,this action must be always be reliable and consistent for the intention of the cause which is the ultimate good (Van-Nieuwenhove & Wawrykow, 2005). Similar to Aristotle’s argument regarding truth, Aquinas idea of happiness is completion, perfection or well-being and achieving this means a person needs to have intellectual virtues to help understand happiness and motivate a person to seek it in a consistent way (Van-Nieuwenhove & Wawrykow, 2005). To be intellectual means to be a good thinker and understanding your reality, being truthful to what is going on around you and being able to understand and take action toward what is good. If I were rearing the end of my life and I had stayed in a toxic relationship it would be obvious to me at that point that I had not lived a life worth being happy with. After deep thought happiness is a feeling that has nothing to do with the truth but truth is an essential element to real
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Humans, throughout recorded history, have searched for a proper way of living which would lead them to ultimate happiness; the Nicomachean Ethics, a compilation of lecture notes on the subject written by Greek philosopher Aristotle, is one of the most celebrated philosophical works dedicated to this study of the way. As he describes it, happiness can only be achieved by acting in conformity with virtues, virtues being established by a particular culture’s ideal person operating at their top capacity. In our current society the duplicity of standards in relation to virtue makes it difficult for anyone to attain. To discover true happiness, man must first discover himself.
From chasing joy to evading misery, it seems as if the ultimate purpose in life is to achieve happiness. However, the question regarding how to define and acquire happiness has continued to be a disputed topic. Beginning back in 350 BC, Aristotle developed and supported his view on human happiness as the fundamental end goal of human life in Nichomachean Ethics. However, others did not universally agree upon Aristotle’s accounts and ideas about happiness. In around 550 BC, Solon preached his own theory on happiness in The Histories, stating that a person’s happiness cannot be determined until death, testing Aristotle’s beliefs. Solon attempts, but fails, to refute Aristotle’s belief that happiness is an eternal, virtuous state, by arguing instead that happiness is subject to change.
Happiness, for Aristotle, is an End in and of itself. "For (Happiness) we choose always for its own sake, and never with a view to anything further." This conception of Happiness is vital, as Aristotle seeks to establish Happiness as the Highest Human Good. For Aristotle, it seems obvious, as even when choosing honor, pleasure, or intellect, we choose them not only for themselves, but also for the Happiness that is derived from them. As an End, Happiness becomes more than a pleasure-state, but a complete notion of fulfillment, and the Good to which all humans strive.
In the Philosophical work, Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle makes claims about happiness being the highest aim and end at which all human activity is directed. He states that happiness is a supreme good, and therefore should be considered the ultimate goal of every action undertaken by an individual. This assertion regarding happiness as a final end, proposes the question, how can a person define and obtain happiness? Aristotle attempts to use his theory of ethics to address this question. His perspective on the supreme good, is that it is a way of life and exhibited in the way we act and that happiness is derived from living a life in accordance with virtues. In this paper I will address Aristotle’s deviance from popular belief regarding what
Contrary to Aristotle’s view that supreme happiness is related to earthly living, Augustine argues that supreme happiness is not truly found until one seeks eternal life with God. While both mostly agree on the definitions of the virtues, differences arise when one looks at their views on the ends that those virtues should be directed towards. In this essay, I will discuss both Aristotle and Augustine’s ideas of virtues and what each thinks humans should do in order to truly find and achieve the supreme good of happiness.
Teleology can be defined as the search for the end goal, or ultimate purpose of an action. In order to propose the idea that there is an “end goal” in human life, or a further purpose to life, Aristotle introduces teleology. By understanding an action, the end goal can be determined. Aristotle then brings forth the idea that life would be “fruitless” without fulfillment, and that happiness is therefore the end. Aristotle defines happiness as general well-being, or human flourishing. He arrives at this definition by determining that there must be a result , or further purpose to of actions, otherwise life would be fruitless. Aristotle states that happiness as the a chief good is meaningless, and a better definition is needed for the chief
To begin, happiness is viewed as the ultimate goal in the life of an individual and highest good, Aquinas believes that no human can achieve higher wisdom and happiness during their time on earth due to the fact that man’s ultimate happiness would only be achieved by passing on and being in the presence of the lord, or as he terms it: “Along with natural happiness, there is a supernatural happiness of comping to “see God as he is”. (P.77) by living a just and moral life, we will eventually know true happiness in the next life. In fact, he goes on to argue that our happiness during life is bound by what God reveals to living souls, and thus, drastically limited. While our human faculties provide some happiness, only in our heavenly vessels will
From pursuing pleasure to avoiding pain, life seems to ultimately be about achieving happiness. However, how to define and obtain happiness has and continues to be a widely debated issue. In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle gives his view on happiness. Aristotle focuses particularly on how reason, our rational capacity, should help us recognize and pursue what will lead to happiness and the good life.';(Cooley and Powell, 459) He refers to the soul as a part of the human body and what its role is in pursuing true happiness and reaching a desirable end. Aristotle defines good'; as that which everything aims.(Aristotle, 459) Humans have an insatiable need to achieve goodness and eventual happiness. Sometimes the end that people aim for is the activity they perform, and other times the end is something we attempt to achieve by means of that activity. Aristotle claims that there must be some end since everything cannot be means to something else.(Aristotle, 460) In this case, there would be nothing we would try to ultimately achieve and everything would be pointless. An ultimate end exists so that what we aim to achieve is attainable. Some people believe that the highest end is material and obvious (when a person is sick they seek health, and a poor person searches for wealth).
Happiness is defined as a “state of being happy”. This concept of happiness seems rather simple to the ordinary person. According to Aristotle and Immanuel Kant, happiness is not merely a state. In fact, there is a lot more substance within the dimension of happiness that one must acquire and comprehend to achieve. While Aristotle defines happiness as the final end and self sufficient (8), Kant does not. Instead, Kant emphasizes the kingdom of ends, in which all are subject to the categorical imperative as rational autonomous beings with the intention of universalizing one’s maxim, not happiness. This paper will explore Aristotle’s definition of happiness in comparison to Kant’s.
Happiness is a challenging emotion or state of mind that is hard to define. It is remarkably difficult because every person on earth has a dissimilar view on happiness. Happiness should be understood as something that fulfills the person’s abilities. If he or she achieves happiness, then that equates to a balance of pleasure, honor, and self-sufficiency. Aristotle believes the greatest good is happiness. He describes happiness as, “an activity that is guided by and exercises the human virtues” (60). Is the highest good happiness? What are the characteristics of good? Do we all require habituation to become good? Such questions as these stirs up emotional reactions among debates of the topic.
From examining ends and goods, Aristotle formulates eudaimonia. He questions “what is the highest of all the goods achievable in action?” (Shafer-Landau 2013, 616). Aristotle argues that the majority of people agree that the highest good is achieving happiness, however, they disagree over what happiness actually is, for example, some claim t...
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).
Unlike Plato, Aristotle questions and concludes that virtue does not suffice happiness. His definition of happiness is the activity of the soul in accordance with the most perfect virtue. He believes one must be active and make full use of his/her rational capacities to function well. This perfecting of ones character was Aristotle?s key to happiness.
According to Webster dictionary the word Happiness in defined as Enjoying, showing, or marked by pleasure, satisfaction, or joy. People when they think of happiness, they think about having to good feeling inside. There are many types of happiness, which are expressed in many ways. Happiness is something that you can't just get it comes form your soul. Happiness is can be changed through many things that happen in our every day live.
Aristotle is a strong believer that reaching happiness is the ultimate goal of humans. He says, “Another belief which harmonizes with our account is that the happy man