Aristotle believed “virtue is a matter of developing the unique ability to reason.”(Pacquette 268) Being virtuous to Plato and Aristotle also meant, “doing things- no matter what these things were- in a way that reflected rational thought and involved making the best of one’s skills, talents and opportunities.” (Pacquette 268) Aristotle and Plato both agreed that a person’s good moral character and reason guided their ethical choices. A good moral life to them would lead to “eudaimonia, an ancient Greek word that translates into English as happiness.” (Pacquette 268) Though Plato talked and wrote about virtue and happiness, Aristotle went into great detail about his ideas. Aristotle is known as the creator of the theory of virtue ethics. “Aristotle held that there are three forms of happiness. The first form of happiness is a life of pleasure and enjoyment.
While happiness is the ultimate good, Aristotle establishes the best life and incorrectly claims that the life of study is the best life for everyone, but it is crucial to first determine how Aristotle connects eudaimonia with human function and virtue. Aristotle believes that by asking what th... ... middle of paper ... ... activity of the rational part of the soul in accordance with virtue. He believes that the human function is only the one peculiar to us. Aristotle also presents a valid reason for why happiness is the ultimate good. Happiness is choiceworthy in its own right and never because of something else therefore is complete.
To reach a goal something good has to occur and when deciding what good is we come to find that happiness is the chief good. Therefore happiness is always an end in itself. Happiness also is dependent on the cultivation of virtue. It is the value of your life up to this point. Here Aristotle uses deontology to look at what one ought to do and why.
Aristotle and the Book of Nicomanchean Ethics In Book I of Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle states that the ultimate human goal or end is happiness. Aristotle describes the steps required for humans to obtain happiness. Aristotle states that activity is an important requirement of happiness. He states that a happy person cannot be inactive. He then goes on to say that living a life of virtue is something pleasurable in itself.
Aristotle finally takes the initiative as a philosopher to answer the question to what the purpose of life is. His response is happiness. The purpose of Aristotle’s theory is to achieve the greatest possible happiness by maintaining appropriate virtues. I agree with Aristotle’s goal of happiness and conclude to the idea of virtues which are virtuous states of character that affect our decision making. Aristotle gives reasons to why he claims happiness to be the purpose of life.
Unlike these theorists, Aristotle’s virtue ethics are concerned with the general questions such as “what is a good life”, “what are proper social and family values”, and “how should one live” (Bejczy 32). Aristotle developed his virtue ethics based on three central principles; eudaimonia, ethics of care, and agent based theories. Eudaimonia stipulates that virtues can be seen in the way an individual flourishes; flourishing under this concept refers to one’s ability to perform their functions with distinct accuracy (Bejczy 33). The distinct function of humans according to Aristotle is reasoning, and a worthy life is characterized by good reasoning. The agent based theory places emphasis on the fact that virtues are determined by common institutions people use to label traits in other people as admirable.
Happiness is part of human nature and it depends on reason because as humans we are rational beings. Aristotle makes it clear through his interpretation that happiness depends on developing morals and displaying virtues such as courage, generosity, selflessness, friendship, and justice. Ultimately, acquiring happiness is the realization of our power to act and perform rationally.
Anything else that has value is valuable merely as a means to securing pleasure for oneself. Epicurus associated this theory to a refined and individual view of the nature of pleasure, which lead him to recommend a virtuous, moderately frugal life as the best means to securing pleasure. His ethical theories find a foundation in the Aristotelian commonplace that the highest good is what is valued for its own sake, and not for the sake of anything else. Epicurus also agreed with Aristotle that happiness is the highest good. However, he disagreed with Aristotle by identifying happiness with pleasure.
Mills responds to this objection by explaining how secondary moral reasoning and the fundamental principle of morality are taken into account when deciding what promotes the most overall happiness. After explaining his argument, I believe Mill succeeds in responding to the objection, he explains why it shouldn’t be a problem when weighing the best possible outcome by using the secondary moral rule as the first principle. According to Mill, there are several elements to the principle of utility. First, it allows people to choose the action that promotes the most happiness. As stated, Mill believes that an action is right if it promotes happiness and an action is wrong if it promotes pain.
He then goes on to say that living a life of virtue is something pleasurable in itself. The role of virtue to Aristotle is an important one, with out it, it seems humans cannot obtain happiness. Virtue is the connection one has to happiness and how they should obtain it. My goal in this paper is to connect Aristotle’s book of Nicomachean Ethics to my own reasoning of self-ethics. I strongly agree with Aristotle’s goal of happiness and conclude to his idea of virtues, which are virtuous states of character that affect our decision making in life.