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).
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.
According to Aristotle, everything we do in life, we do for the sake of some good, or at least something we perceive to be good. We call an act good if it satisfies a certain need. The satisfaction of this need is then considered good if it is a means for satisfying some further need, and this, in turn, is good if it will satisfy still another need. Sooner or later this process reaches a point where it is no longer a means for some further end but is an end in itself. This final end is what Aristotle means by the chief good.
If somebody using an utilitarian approach thinks an action would bring the most pleasure or happiness to the majority of people then it would be the right thing to do. The advantages of the utilitarian theory is that proponents believe that morality can make life better when the amount of good things is increased and bad
Happiness increase resilience to negative emotions and increase physical, emotional and intellectual wellbeing (Huppert, Baylis & Keverne, 2005, p. 227). Seligman 's (2002) authentic happiness theory explored notions of happiness in terms of positive emotions, engagement and meaning. According to Seligman these three aspects combine into "full life". Seligman 's three routes to happiness include both hedonic and eudemonic approach that increase wellbeing (Schueller & Seligman, 2010) and provide for greater life satisfaction (Huppert, Baylis & Keverne, 2005, p. 279). Considering that, it is possible to see a connection between Seligman 's authentic happiness theory and Carl Roger 's “self” theory of personality as both explain active attempts to satisfying one 's needs that are consistent with self-concept.
I am sensible, that, according to the past experience of mankind, friendship is the chief joy of human life, and moderation the only source of tranquillity and happiness." (Hume 11.108, pg. 97) He also says that he believes in the events of punishing and rewarding, but who could provide valid punishments and rewards without judging the individual, too harshly or too much in favor of that person. As mentioned before people usually act in order to benefit themselves, there could be a possibility that someone punishes someone due to a personal vendetta they hold on the person or they may reward them greatly when a reward like that is not required in the first place. Throughout history religious doctrines have shaped communities and provided rules to live in harmony with everyone; that includes condemning acts of murder, stealing and many more.
Aristotle, on the other hand, had a much more positive outlook on the applicability of his political theory. In many ways, his ideal ideology would look much like Plato’s, although with a more guided and empirical approach. Aristotle, like Plato, argued that the state was not only necessary, but essential to the happiness of its people, because the state was the only means by which the city could achieve happiness. According to Aristotle, “the best good is apparently something complete” and likewise, that “happiness more than anything else seems complete without qualification” (Nicomachean Ethics, 205) and “everyone aims at living well and at happiness” (Politics, 315). Furthermore, he argued that “happiness is an activity of the soul expressing
In Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, he describes his feeling and thoughts on pleasure; he discusses that pleasure is good and that the feeling of eudaimonia is connected to pleasure. Eudaimonia, also know as the term for happiness in Greek, means “a contented state of being happy and healthy and prosperous” (dictionary.com). Aristotle describes happiness as the main purpose of all human lives and that it is absolutely the essential goal for all humans. I disagree with Aristotle’s statement that a life of pleasure cannot be the best life because just because a person finds pleasure in different ventures other than being virtuous doesn’t make them an animalistic person. Aristotle indicates that pleasure is the most necessary part of unimpeded activity, but pleasure on it own, can be unintended from an activity; in which pleasure itself would develop from activity without any type of drawbacks.
This concept can be related to the term eudaimonia, which translates to the flourishing of a human being; a happy and well-lived life. Aristotle argued that the good life would focus to a great extent on contemplation and learning, or acquiring the intellectual virtues. According to Aristotelian theories, to achieve eudaimonia, one must possess arête and telos. Arête can be directly translated as