Happiness is the ultimate function of man because it is the highest human good. Every action that humans perform is aimed at achieving an end. One goes to college to gain a degree. One gains a degree to get a good job. One works to earn money. Degrees, jobs, and money are but a few of the many ends that human actions aim to achieve. There is no action without purpose, or aim at an end, because even actions that seem frivolous are meant to achieve the end of satisfying the whim of the performer of the act. These ends are considered to be good, though some are better than othe...
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...e soul is in submission to the rational segment, then happiness is achieved.
Everything on the earth has a purpose, a niche to be filled, and so it is with man. Thus, as happiness is man’s greatest function, since it is the end to which all human actions are aimed and since it is uniquely human, it stands to reason that the only life worth living is that spent in correct pursuit of happiness. Such pursuit, or cultivation, is an activity of the human soul because happiness may only be achieved through the achievement of perfect virtue, which by its very definition is excellence of the soul. Happiness, therefore, is the realization of mankind’s purpose, the final and ultimate fulfillment of its function resulting in the contentment of the excellent soul.
Aristotle, and Martin Ostwald. Nichomachean Ethics,. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1980. Print.
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