Similarities Between Solon And Aristotle

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From chasing joy to evading misery, it seems as if the ultimate purpose in life is to achieve happiness. However, the question regarding how to define and acquire happiness has continued to be a disputed topic. Beginning back in 350 BC, Aristotle developed and supported his view on human happiness as the fundamental end goal of human life in Nichomachean Ethics. However, others did not universally agree upon Aristotle’s accounts and ideas about happiness. In around 550 BC, Solon preached his own theory on happiness in The Histories, stating that a person’s happiness cannot be determined until death, testing Aristotle’s beliefs. Solon attempts, but fails, to refute Aristotle’s belief that happiness is an eternal, virtuous state, by arguing instead that happiness is subject to change.
In Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics, he writes on the principle of the good. Every action or choice that a person makes is aimed at some good, and …show more content…

Croesus is very confident of his own treasures and country, considering himself to be the most blessed and wealthy man, therefore he asks the renowned and knowledgeable Solon if he is the most fortunate man that he has ever encountered (19). Thinking that Solon will tell Croesus that he is the happiest man in the world, Croesus is disappointed when Solon tells him that there have been men happier and more prosperous than he. Solon explains that a man’s success in life comes by chance and will not always last. Croesus’s happiness cannot be judged until after death due to the happenstance of misfortunes. Many “wealthy men are unhappy, while many others who have more modest resources are fortunate,” consequently anything can happen (20-21). Solon then tells Croesus that a person must wait until the end of his life to behold the outcome, however Croesus swiftly dismisses this seemingly ridiculous

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