Comparing Aristotle 's Nicomachean Ethics

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In Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics we are given the Greek term Eudaimonia, its definition being a contented sate of being happy, healthy and prosperous. For Aristotle, Eudaimonia or happiness is our ultimate goal. Aristotle states that most people see happiness as something physical and this way of thinking is faulted because we do not have the appropriate image of a good life. He goes on to tell us that our view is faulted because most people are not virtuous. The reason for the deficiency in virtue found in society is that people are not thought virtue correctly from a young age. Aristotle believes that people can only reach their ultimate goal of happiness by living a virtuous life and making the right decisions. The quote given to us states “Virtue, then, is a state of character concerned with choice, lying in a mean, i.e., the mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and by that reason by which the man of practical wisdom would determine it.” (1106b35-1107a3). Practical wisdom is knowledge of how to secure the ends of human life and for a man who demonstrates this quality his mark should be to be able to tell what is good for himself and his ultimate goal of a good life. In this paper, I will be agreeing with Aristotle’s idea that virtue is a state of character concerned with ones choices and one’s ability to reason. According to Aristotle, there are two types of virtue. These are: intellectual and moral virtue. Intellectual virtue stems from growth and teaching. In order to be intellectually virtuous one must have a great amount of experience and have allocated a great amount of time in studying whatever task it is they are looking to be virtuous in. On the other hand, moral virtue is given birth through habit.... ... middle of paper ... ...ce. Aristotle states that choice is “the result of previous deliberation” (IIIIb3). What he means by this is that there is careful consideration of a choice before it was made based off of prior experiences. He states that children nor animals can participate in making choices because they do not have the experience in life to make decisions. Aristotle states that people should deliberate or engage in long and careful consideration in what a sensible man would deliberate about. Though Aristotle had many different ideas on what it took for one’s life to be considered a good life, or for one to reach is or her ultimate happiness or Eudaimonia. It all boils down to humans living a life in which they learn from their mistakes, practice good habits, and deliberate for all circumstances and this will lead us to what Aristotle claims is the ultimate goal of happiness.
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