Emily Abramczyk Section 7 Intro to Philosophy February 27, 2014 In life, it certainly seems that for most people, happiness is the end goal. People do what they do for many reasons, but quite often their motives are simply fueled by their desire to be happy. However, happiness is attained in many different ways. As Aristotle points out, happiness is achieved through goodness, which is also very complicated. After all, life is not black and white, and our actions are not just good or bad. Rather, our actions can have ends that are intrinsically good or instrumentally good. If they are instrumentally good, then they will allow us to attain something that we can "trade" for something else that will bring us happiness. For example, if we win tickets at an arcade, they would be considered instrumentally good because although they don't bring us happiness, we can trade them in for a prize that does. On the other hand, some things are intrinsically good. We want these things simply because we want them; they bring us pleasure or security. When we obtain these things, we are satisfied with them and we experience happiness. As mentioned before, happiness is a very complex subject matter, for it means something different to each and every person. In Aristotle's opinion, one needs to have realized and lived up to their potentialities in order to be happy. He notes that since human beings have the unique gift of reason, they are required to fully develop this skill in order to be happy. Yet, we must stop a minute and ask ourselves, "Is this too much of a pretentious assertion?" How do we know that our full potential can only be met if we learn to use the gift of reason? Can we ever be sure that knowledge is not simply an inst... ... middle of paper ... ...confident, they may be perceived as cocky, and if they are not confident enough, they will be completely ignored. These are cases where the virtue of confidence has been turned into a vice that most definitely will not bring happiness. Obviously, happiness is quite hard to attain. There is no fairy godmother to wave a wand and grant us happiness. We must go out into the world and seek it out for ourselves. What most people fail to realize about happiness is that it is different for everyone. There is no formula for happiness, only a set of guidelines to help us on our way. We should follow the golden mean and strive for goodness, whatever that may be. In the end, it seems that if we try our best to be good and moral human beings, we might just stumble across happiness in the process. Hey, what can I say, love it or hate it, that is just the way life works.
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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 component in achieving it would be to study
Happiness has always been a desirable goal throughout our lives, but each actions we take might just affect the happiness of others. When humans seek happiness, we always seek for things that make us feel alive, or things that brings us the greatest comfort. Our contentment comes with the act of selfishness since we choose to prioritize our happiness above all other. We willingly classify happiness in two different types of meaning, both physical and mental happiness. People ought not be in title to happiness because it is classified in general as a physical desire by many people. Contentment is always known to be a physical satisfaction in life instead of a self-inducing satisfaction for life.
Happiness, to Aristotle, is a term for which much exactitude must be made. He understands that, "Happiness both the refined and the few call it, but about the nature of this Happiness, men dispute." As such, he goes to great lengths to attain a fairly accurate accounting of what he sees as Happiness. He begins by illustrating that Happiness is an End, establishes what he finds the work of Man to be, sets conditions on being happy, and then explains where in Man the cultivation of Happiness is to be sought. The result of all these ideas is his fully developed sense of Happiness, an understanding vital to his conception of Ethics.
Aristotle defines happiness or Εὐδαιμονία for a human being as the life of rational activity in accordance with virtue, although, in saying this, there are suggested to be
The goal of human life according to Aristotle is Happiness as he stated in Nicomachean Ethics, “Happiness, then, is apparently something complete and self-sufficient, since it is the end of the things achievable in action.” Aristotle states that happiness is not just about being content in life but that one has to have lived their life rationally, well, and to the fullest of their capabilities. Happiness, according to Aristotle, can only be achieved by focusing on mans’ life as parts of a whole.
Aristotle believes that the amount of happiness one experiences is in direct relation to the substance and importance of the daily activities that we perform. The question then is, how is a person supposed to know which activities to partake in? According to Aristotle, we should fill our lives with activities that require the exercise of our reason, or intelligence. Another belief of Aristotle’s is that a person wishing to attain true happiness must first learn how to use his unique gift of intellectual thought to it’s greatest extent. The philosopher is thought to have the most pleasant life because he seeks knowledge only for the sake of knowledge; not to further himself, but only to gain more knowledge.
All human beings have a common desire. The desire that all humans are striving for is something that is important and vital to every human being. This desire is happiness, which according to Aristotle, “is not something you can feel or experience at a particular moment. It is the quality of a whole life.” Many great philosophers, like Aristotle, have attempted to seek and comprehend what happiness is. Plato believe happiness is a “harmony within the soul-the spiritual well-being of the truly virtuous man.” Immanuel Kant defines “the pursuit of happiness as selfish, setting personal satisfaction above the objective norm of duty and right.” Aristotle believes “Everyone uses the word happiness to name that which he seeks for its own sake and not for the sake of anything else. One wants to be happy because happiness is the ultimate good.” Happiness is a desire all humans want, no one wants to live a dreadful life. Everyone wants to live a good life. Happiness is the total satisfaction of all human desire. In Mortimer Adler’s point of view, there are many components that can lead to happiness. Three important components to attain happiness are bodily, social, and intellectual goods.
In the First Book of The Ethics, Aristotle states that “true happiness is activity that expresses virtue.” This idea is expressed that happiness is a state of being, which the world around said mind cannot contribute to this state of being. However, happiness defined during his time is more about achieving and being able to fulfill these virtues and not only look at the instant gratifications in life, such as pleasures in only material form. Happiness seems to be Aristotle’s reason that people tend to aim and “hence the good has been well described as that at which everything aims.” (23, Aristotle) Aristotle saw that neither notions toward happiness, such as wealth, honor or other ordinary pleasures that people tend to lean toward could not
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. The virtuous person takes pleasure in doing virtuous things. The role of virtue is an important one for Aristotle. Without virtue, it seems one cannot obtain happiness. Virtue acts as a linking factor to happiness.
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).
The idea of happiness is a craving humans cannot resist. Humans see happiness as the end all be all of life, as the only thing that can fulfill their lives. It seems as if happiness is some magical state of mind that makes everything and due to that, humans come to an understanding; happiness is the one and only goal in life. The flaw with this understanding of happiness is humans do not know what happiness truly is, leaving it up for debate among the entirety of society. The concept of true happiness is simple, ignorance is bliss; for one to be truly happy, they must not comprehend anything, leaving nothing to be interpreted as positive or negative. The idea that being truly happy is the goal in life, then one would live ignorant to the world, leaving nothing to negatively affect oneself. The problem arises when living ignorant becomes a hassle intellectually and socially. Ignorance stunts growth, preventing advancement of the species. This
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
... 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. Lastly, Aristotle claims that a life of study is the best life for all humans, however, there should be a single good which constitutes the aim of each human being. He incorrectly reasons that just because the gods are involved in study, that humans should also take part in such activity. Forgetting all the previous things he said about virtues and habituation, Aristotle claims that only a life of study will bring happiness. While humans should all aim to achieve Aristotle’s view of eudaimonia or happiness, his beliefs of the best life are unrealistic.
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 argues that being happy is also being good. Once you have achieved happiness that is the end, and because it is something final it should be where all actions aim. Aristotle says that this is a truism, meaning that of course we should always aim to be happy because it is supreme good. The idea behind this links back to virtue and why being virtuous leads to happiness. Each individual has different abilities and skills which will lead to their own specific type of happiness. Happiness does not come in the same form for everybody, but ultimately when one is excellent at what they do, they will achieve happiness. In this paper, I will explain why the virtuous life is the equivalent of the happy life.