The fact that happiness is a state of well-being pursued by humans since the beginning of humanity is not new. Since the ancient Greek philosophers, happiness has always been a goal for people. However, the definition of happiness is still subjective and controversial as Mark Kingwell, an award-winning social critic, essayist, and professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto, presents in his article “In pursuit of Happiness." The author begins to build his credibility by calling everyday facts and emotions, also by citing philosophers, researchers, and other authors. Using the sources effectively in a persuasive piece, Kingwell demonstrates, through examples and science researches, the difficulty in defining happiness, which can result in unhappiness.
A professor of history at Florida State , Darrin M. McMahon, in his New York Times article, “In Pursuit of Unhappiness”, (11-29-2005) he persuades that happiness is a relentless desire to achieve if you find it on your own. the article written by McMahon he quotes that ”Those only are happy who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness..”. He uses evidence to support his claim by using philosophers John Stuart mill and Carlyle quotes to prove that they all have similar views on how to achieve being happy and be cheerful.It's better to do something that makes you carefree rather than waiting for happiness to come “knocking at your door” as if you gain contentment as pure luck. Sometimes it is better to be bliss
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). Much like the work of a harpist is to play the harp, “the work of a human being is a being-at-work of the soul in accordance with reason” (11:1098a7-8). Moreover, in order to achieve the good, it is important that each being performs his work excellently. While all harpists’
The Declaration of Independence states: “that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." The Declaration of Independence is a written version of our rights as humans in America. It is saying that every person is equal, with equal opportunities. The people are given rights at birth that can not be taken away. The document gives all the “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as basic human rights.
Happiness exists not only as an emotion, but as a state of mind. Before Adam and Eve sinned, they are said to be happy and content because they lived in a world where emotions such as envy and greed did not exist. Because they sinned, the world they knew fell, and humans have lived in the world of non-happiness from then until the present. In the 18th Century, people began to think of happiness not as something that is only in the afterlife, but as something that can be obtained on Earth as well. The Declaration of Independence, one of the most well-known works of the 18th century, states that everyone has the undeniable right to pursue happiness. The Declaration of Independence is far from alone in the writings of happiness. All of the books
The main topic of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics is eudaimonia, i.e. happiness in the “living well” or “flourishing” sense (terms I will be using interchangeably). In this paper, I will present Aristotle’s view on the role of external goods and fortune for the achievement of happiness. I will argue that he considers them a prerequisite for virtue. Their contribution to happiness is indirect, via the way they affect how we can engage in rational activity according to the relevant virtues. I will then object that this view threatens to make his overall account of happiness incoherent. Fortunately, there is a way to reconcile the apparent tensions, in book III.
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. Understanding Aristotelian happiness is important for the 21st century because
In the informative article, “Happiness on the Brain, the Neuroscience of Happiness” author Kevin Corcoran begins his attempt to explain what happiness truly is by first identifying how it relates to the brain. Corcoran acknowledges the fact that recent scientific findings have allowed doctors to “rewire our brains…there are ways the neuroplasticity of our brains can serve to increase our level of happiness.” The author uses this information to suggest that humans have a deep-seated desire to be happy. He further proves his point by explaining how this quest for happiness has become a modern trend. Nonethless, Corcoran recognizes the fault in this pursuit saying, “It seems the more we desire happiness, pursue it, and consmue products we hope will help us to
It is critical to recognize Mill’s argument that a degree of contentment can exist in periods of less happiness. However, Aristotle’s view of perceiving wellbeing or goodness as ultimate is more pronounced. Worth emphasizing, Aristotle deeply explores his arguments basing them on functions of a rational man and virtues out of habits. Today, a virtuous citizen is one whose actions are inward, in response to conscience and moral obligations as a member of society. Such a person, not waivered with intensities of pleasures, honor, and wealth but seeks to have a satisfactory level of happiness with friends, co-workers, and family among other
Many philosophers, notably Aristotle (384-322 BC), produced a list of things that comprise quality of life writing specifically about “the good life” and “living well” and how public policy can help to foster it. In his work, Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle explained that eudaimonia means “doing and living well” and he used this term in the context of the highest human good. His treatise also examined the character traits that human beings need in order to live their lives in the best way. Another philosopher Epicurus created ethical theory of hedonism. He identified the eudaemonic life as the life of pleasure where eudaimonia is a more or less continuous experience of pleasure, just as freedom from pain and
In Aristotle’s view, virtue(arête) is defined as an essential factor to achieve happiness of an individual, while happiness(eudaimonia) is defined as an ultimate objective of human-being. Aristotle insisted that the order of priority may decide whether one’s goal should be considered as a means or the goal itself. In other word, a goal with lower priority can be a method to achieve a goal with higher priority. In Aristotle’s viewpoint, happiness means the supreme good among other virtues, being the ultimate goal that human-beings pursue. Hence happiness cannot be an optional
For adults, happiness requires more calculation and reasoning which agrees with both my definition and Aristotle’s definition of happiness. The happiness experienced by adults is more sophisticated. Adults tend to make themselves happy with what they have. Dan Gilbert, a Harvard psychologist and happiness expert, calls this synthetic happiness. He defines synthetic happiness as, “what we make when we don’t get what we wanted.” Children, on the other hand, experience natural happiness because they have not yet developed the ability to train their minds and control what makes them happy. Natural happiness is when you get what you want, but Gilbert still argues that each form of happiness is every bit real and enduring as the
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.
For Aristotle, happiness is the end and purpose of human existence. To pursue happiness is to go for telos. Happiness is neither pleasure nor virtue, but an exercise of virtue. Happiness cannot be achieved until the end of one’s life. Hence, it is a goal not a temporary state. The pursuit of happiness has been equated with the exercise of virtue, and virtue is to moral character. I suggest the emphasiz-ation of the pursuit of happiness as an obligation of man since Filipinos are easily motivated with the use of consequences, because the only way to achieve happiness is to act with virtue, they will act morally otherwise, they will die without achieving happiness which is the ultimate goal in the life of a human person. The pursuit of happiness will push the Filipino people towards virtue. For instance, Binay wants to be the DILG cabinet secretary in order for his name to be known all over the Philippines in preparation in the incoming 2016 election. However, the purpose of Binay to run in position is to steal the money of the country, and we all know that stealing money from the Filipino people will lead to various problems such as poverty and hunger which may result to death. Based on Aristole’s, this is against the telos. Binay is not exercising virtue. If only the pursuit of happiness is introduced to Binay, there is a great possibilty that he will
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.