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.
In conclusion, Aristotle’s elucidation of happiness is based on a ground of ethics because happiness to him is coveted for happiness alone. The life of fame and fortune is not the life for Aristotle. Happiness is synonymous for living well. To live well is to live with virtue. Virtue presents humans with identification for morals, and for Aristotle, we choose to have “right” morals.
Mill says, “No reason can be given why the general happiness is desirable, except the fact that each person desires his own happiness, so far as he thinks it is attainable. But this is a fact; so we have not only all the proof that could be possibly demanded, that happiness is a good; that each person’s happiness is a good to that person; and therefore that general happiness is a good to the aggregate of all persons. Happiness has made good its claim to be one of the ends of conduct, and consequently one of the criteria of morality” (Ch. IV, page 35). Mill’s book supports his theory that happiness is the sole basis of morality because people never desire anything but happiness and this desire will bring the greatest good for the greater number of people.
Humans possess this type of soul, and are able to be rational, and to instill rationality into their lives when dealing with their appetites, which are the objects and actions humans are attracted to. Aristotle believed that the ultimate goal in life is happiness, and people should live their lives in order to be happy. According to him, the soul doesn’t survive after death, so people should strive to be happy while they are alive. Since we haven’t direct knowledge of soul we try to understand to become truly virtuous. In Aristotle’s quest to understand virtue, he works rationally trying to rationalize the irrational.
However, key differences in each of their writings is how virtue is acquired. Plato held the socratic belief that knowledge is virtue is in and of itself. That knowing what is the good thing to do will lead you to doing the good action. Through knowledge and wisdom is how all other virtues become clear in terms of right and wrong. Finally, Plato believed that virtue was sufficient in order to achieve happiness.
If an individual has done noth... ... middle of paper ... ...etes our emotional and intellectual natures. The importance of Aristotle’s theory of virtue and happiness is that happiness serves as the ultimate end and purpose of human existence and we have to understand that happiness is not mere pleasure. Also, we have to be able to recognize that it is not virtue, but it is the exercise and practice of virtue. Happiness is a goal and is not just a temporary state and it cannot be achieved nor obtained until the end of one’s life. Happiness is part of human nature and it depends on reason because as humans we are rational beings.
Aristotle says that the best life for a human is to have and exercise excellence of character, but he undermines this in book X by claiming that understanding is the better good for humans. Therefore, he contradicts himself on what the best life for humans must be. I will propose that Aristotle does not hold that virtues are undermined by contemplation, but that we hope that contemplation is consistent with our virtues. As such, they act together towards human good. I will show that this does not resolve the tension.
Perhaps what Socrates means is more than just an intellectual idea of good. Perhaps what he means when he says that one sees the idea of good is that one experiences goodness itself directly. In that case, se... ... middle of paper ... ... he really has no solid evidence to back him up. If there is no evidence to show that the capacity for goodness is innate in human beings and that people who have seen what goodness is will want to be good, then there is also no justification for the belief that attaining the idea of good is sufficient for being good. Basically, Plato's vision of utopia lies on the fundamental premise that the philosopher who has seen the light will "either in public or private life" fix his eye on this light (517c).
The Happy Life “So don’t merely give us a theoretical argument that justice is stronger than injustice, but tell us what each itself does, because of its own powers, to someone who possesses it, and that makes injustice bad and justice good”.1 In this quote from Plato’s Republic, Adeimantus challenges Socrates to demonstrate that justice is good in itself, and ultimately, to prove that the just life is the happiest life for a human being. Both Plato and Aristotle, two of antiquity’s greatest philosophers, concern themselves with the issue of human happiness. Neither thinker considers fate to be the definitive factor for achieving happiness. Rather, Plato and Aristotle argue that our actions and thoughts play a significant role in creating a happy life. This argument, as presented in Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, also asserts that a life in accordance with justice is the happy, or good, life.
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.