In 384 BCE Aristotle was born, in Stagira, a small town now in northeastern Greece. He was a philosopher and marine biologist, who cherished the truth. Aristotle contributed in various theories including metaphysics, biology and ethics. For many of us, the essential question of ethics is, "What should I do?" or "How should I act?" Ethics is supposed to provide us with "moral principles" or universal rules that tell us what to do.
Aristotle’s brand of ethics is what we now call “virtue ethics”, it is the moral character of an individual and how it relates to his overall happiness. He argues that the “good life – a life attaining the highest good – Is one lived according to the light of reasoning and is therefore marked by true happiness” (Living
Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics begins by exploring ‘the good’. Book I argues that, unlike other goods, “happiness appears to be something complete and self-sufficient, and is, therefore, the end of actions” (10:1097b20-21). In other words, happiness is the ultimate good. But how does one achieve happiness? Aristotle formulates this in the context of work, since for all things, from artists to horses, “the good and the doing it well seem to be in the work” (10:1097b27-28).
Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, Book ll, is about his idea of how people should live a virtuous life. Throughout this book, he explains that humans learn virtue from instructions and we learn virtue from practice too. Virtue is something that is very important because it is a moral habit that results in keeping our moral values. Aristotle believed that nobody is born with virtue, everyone has to work at it daily. After reading Nicomachean ethics, Book ll, my main conclusion of it is that us as humans are better off being virtuous than simply doing what we feel like doing at any moment in time.
Thus, when human function is done well, it is in accordance with virtue and best human life is achieved. In addition, it can be inferred that since Aristotle’s definition of happiness is to be virtuous, performing rational activity well can lead to happiness. In addition, Aristotle states, “if there are more than one virtue, in accordance with the best and most complete” (1098a18). This means that eventually there will be one virtue that is inclusive of all virtue and that displays an end, and this virtue will be in line with the self-sufficient and inclusive concept of happiness as the chief good. If this inclusive virtue and good is achieved, ultimate happiness will be achieved as well.
“Every skill and every inquiry, and similarly every action and rational choice, is thought to aim at some good; and so the good has been aptly described as that which everything aims. But it is clear that there is some difference between ends: some ends are activities, while others are products which are additional to the activities. In cases where there are ends additional to the actions, the products are by their nature better than activities.” (Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics, as translated by Crisp, 2000, p. #3) Aristotle was the first philosopher who wrote a book on ethics titled, Nichomachean Ethics.
In Aristotle, "Nicomachean Ethics", the author conveys that the nature of his universe is place where you aim for happiness and to be a good person. The author explains that the goal of reading "Nicomachean Ethics" is for the reader to determine the best way to achieve their own happiness and to be good person by using their moral virtues that were thought to them. To achieve this, you have to understand your virtues and the kind of person you are. Every human is born goodness in their soul, but what you do with it will determine your happiness. In addition, when do good deeds from the goodness of heart that will also contribute to your happiness and show that your selfless person.
Throughout the history, there have been heated discussions on what constitutes a good life. Philosophers have given different annotations on the meaning of good life based on their beliefs, perspectives or even scientific-based evidences. Some view a good life as an accumulation of material goods that brings “large amount” of pleasure to oneself. On the other hand, Mencius and Aristotle advocate good life as possessing of pleasure that incorporates ethical values and they believe that by doing so one will experience enduring happiness. There is no ultimate right or wrong for these interpretations since this is not a factual question.
This shows a connection in his reading and he states “…happiness, [is] above all else” (12) which makes it very clear throughout the reading that Aristotle believes that the happiness is the principle that people provide as a basis of all their human actions. When we are all aiming at some good we are all aiming at the ideals that are expressed through
Striving Towards the True Good Throughout all these readings I have come to understand, that the basic key to Aristotle’s philosophy was achieving eudemonia or in other words, true happiness. Within the text of Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle goes on to explain how the aim of life is to reach the highest good. Aristotle explains how being good at something for example guitar playing would not necessarily make you virtuous, because that person may have a wretched personality that makes him a bad or unvirtuous person.
In Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, the concept of happiness is introduced as the ultimate good one can achieve in life as well as the ultimate goal of human existence. As Aristotle goes on to further define happiness, one can see that his concept is much different from the 21st-century view. Aristotelian happiness can be achieved through choosing to live the contemplative life, which would naturally encompass moralistic virtue. This differs significantly from the modern view of happiness, which is heavily reliant on material goods. To a person in the 21st-century, happiness is simply an emotional byproduct one experiences as a result of acquiring material goods.
When speaking of virtue most people think of someone who has high moral standards, and don’t think much else of it. Conversely, Aristotle puts much thought into what virtue is and what it means to be virtuous. He believes “that virtue is concerned with pleasures and pains, that it grows by the action of those things out of which it comes into being, or is destroyed by them when they do not happen in the same way, and that it is at work in connection with those things out of which it has come into being” (1105a 15). Aristotle explains that there are two different kinds of virtue, intellectual and moral, each of which is part of the rational portion of the human soul. Intellectual virtue is theoretical wisdom, and moral virtue is practical
Aristotle sketched his philosophy of Virtue Ethics in his book Nichomachean Ethics. Born in Thrace in 384 BC, Aristotle was sent to Athens at seventeen to complete his education at Plato’s Academy. He remained at the Academy for twenty years, where he established a slightly unfriendly rapport with his teacher. This was due to their conflicting views and dissimilar ways and means of cognitive reasoning.
Aristotle advanced the philosophy of ethics, where he demonstrated that it is a means of achieving an end to happiness. However, happiness means many things to different people. To Aristotle, the most adequate way to pursue happiness is through the virtue of excellence. In his writings, Aristotle connected his therory of virtue to economics, and leadership as well. It is a matter of connecting ones personal ethics to that of ones business ethics.
At the end of everyone’s lives, the goal appears to be about attaining happiness. Describing how to obtain happiness has been an issue that was debated in the past but is still talked about now . In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle expands on his view of happiness and he focuses particularly on how reason helps recognize and pursue what will lead to happiness and the good life. I feel that Aristotle’s philosophies on happiness are important works within the field of philosophy and he considered one of the………of it . In this paper, I will explore Aristotle’s beliefs regarding happiness then compare and contrast them to those of Martin Seligman.
In this essay, I will be discussing Aristotle’s conception of the “good life” which he outlined in the Nicomachean Ethics. As we will see, the “good life” for man according to Aristotle is one where we perform the particular activity which is distinctly ours and guides us towards eudaimonia – sometimes translated as ‘happiness’ or ‘well-being’. He shows us how the other conflicting depictions of the ‘good life’ are misguided, and how we should aim for a life of reason. First, however, I will discuss briefly what Aristotle meant by the term ‘good’ and then move on to how he arrived at the conclusion on human happiness. Aristotle believes that the ‘good life’ for a particular organism depends on what that organism is and the conditions it requires