The Opinion Of Aristotle And Kant's Philosophy Of Happiness

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Aristotle believes that ethics is about doing the things that make one an excellent and ultimately a happy (fulfilled) person. Kant claims that happiness is irrelevant in ethics and that the right thing to do is to determine what our duty is and to act on it. Both of these philosophies pose their flaws, but the question of what should we follow if we have no basis is raised. Although I strongly disagree with both philosophies, Kant’ s philosophy would work the best in an ideal world, while on the other hand, Aristotle’s philosophy wouldn’t work in an ideal or realistic world. Aristotle is a strong believer that reaching happiness is the ultimate goal of humans. He says, “Another belief which harmonizes with our account is that the happy man …show more content…

Kant does not believe reaching happiness is the main goal of life, but instead doing good with a sense of duty is. Kant says, “A good will is good not because of what it effects or accomplishes… it is good only through its willing, i.e., it is good in itself” (Kant, First Section). Kant’s claim is very strong because it doesn’t allow for any adaptations. From this, he creates two imperatives, the hypothetical and the categorical. Following the categorical imperatives is what eventually will make one virtuous because they are universal laws or commands to being …show more content…

Since happiness can be defined differently by anyone, how can we be certain of a true happiness? Another question that can be raised is how many externalities are okay to have to help reach happiness? Even if Aristotle believes externalities shouldn’t be the driving factor to reaching happiness, if no one has a true definition of happiness it would be easier for fortunate people to use the externalities at their disposal to reach happiness. Like already mentioned, the less fortunate will be at a greater disadvantage to reaching happiness. It is very similar to how education works in this country. Those who are of a wealthier family can attend the best schools, have after school programs that help students and sometimes do not have to worry about finding a job once they graduate from college. On the other hand, those who come from a less wealthy family do not have these programs available in their communities; the schools are less funded and have a harder time even getting into college. Is a person from the wealthy family more virtuous than the person from the less wealthy family? Does their wealth affect their virtuous character or how virtuous they can be? These questions are all answers Aristotle’s philosophy cannot answer with a definite response in real-world applications. When looking at it from an ideal world perspective, both communities wouldn’t exist because everyone would be equal, but

In this essay, the author

  • Disagrees with both aristotle and kant's philosophies, saying that happiness is irrelevant in ethics and that the right thing to do is to determine what our duty is and act on it.
  • Explains aristotle's belief that happiness is the ultimate goal of humans. he relates good actions to doing an activity well.
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