Aristotle 's Nicomachean Ethics The Topic Of Eudaimonia

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Eudaimonia In Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics the topic of eudaimonia comes up in various different ways. This paper will focus on what it means to say that virtue is necessary but not a sufficient condition for eudaimonia. This paper will attempt to show that the claim that virtue is necessary but insufficient for eudaimonia. For something to be necessary but insufficient for another thing means that it must be present in order to achieve the other thing, but its presence doesn 't guarantee that other thing. Eudaimonia is a Greek word often translated into English as “happiness” or “flourishing.” Thus, Aristotle wouldn’t say that the goal of eudaimonia is happiness, but rather that eduaimonia just is happiness (the trick, then, for this paper is to flesh out a little bit just what he means when he says that!). All things have an end and the end for humans would be eudaimonia. All of our actions are oriented toward some end. All things exist for some reason and some purpose, there is a why to everything and in the end it should lead to eudaimonia. We all seek eudaimonia, the goal and key to the good life. Saying this is tough because Aristotle is clear that he believes all people seek happiness, i.e., people want to be happy (see bk I.4), but he points out that there are different conceptions of what it entails, e.g., some think it is wealth, others honor, others virtue, etc. Thus, you’ll want to maybe make it clear that Aristotle’s point is only that people seek out their own understanding of happiness, but not necessarily seek out what Aristotle himself thinks happiness actually is. We study it so we have a target and goal. This might be a key to the good life, but not the key. The key is to achieve eudaimonia, and a key co... ... middle of paper ... ...appiness, because someone could be virtuous but in a coma, and we wouldn 't think that someone who is in a coma is living a flourishing life (comas just seem to be the sort of thing that would make it impossible to flourish) . He also uses Priam, the king of Troy, as an example He points out that Priam, though virtuous, has suffered some really horrible stuff. His son has been killed by Achilles, who drug his body around in the dirt refusing a proper burial . However virtuous Priam may be, Aristotle thinks that these sorts of things are sufficiently bad that Priam probably just can 't be called happy or flourishing, despite his virtue. So, though Aristotle argues that the flourishing or happy person is virtuous, i.e., virtue is necessary for happiness, he argues that the virtuous person isn 't necessarily happy, because virtue of itself is insufficient for happiness.
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