The Pursuit of Happiness It is a fundamental aspect of society and of mankind that individuals seek their own happiness. Almost every aspect of life centres on the importance of self-fulfillment, and throughout history, the often selfish nature of man loans itself to the idea that life is about pursuing one’s own happiness. In a perfect world, the search for satisfaction in life would go unheeded, and every man would come to realize a perfect sense of self. Unfortunately, there are often many challenges and compromising aspects of society that inhibit individuals from achieving happiness.
Martin Seligman’s Positive Psychology Fun versus Philanthropy reflective essay Introduction: In this reflective essay, a number of aspects of happiness and well-being, as well as questions relating to Martin Seligman’s task. Firstly, an explanations of the doctrine will be examined. Then, the relation between fun and the philanthropy will be discussed. To sum up, the question whether happiness is everything.
Happiness plays an important and necessary role in the lives of people around the world. In America, happiness has been engrained in our national consciousness since Thomas Jefferson penned these famous words in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, 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” (Jefferson). Since then, Americans have been engaged in that act: pursuing happiness. The problem however, as Ray Bradbury demonstrates in his novel Fahrenheit 451, is that those things which make us happy initially may eventually lead to our downfall. By examining Guy Montag, the protagonist
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.
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.
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.
Many classical philosophers have given their voice to the nature of human life and what entails its climax. The very nature of human beings has been investigated, broadly, to establish a comprehensive understanding often pegged on morality. Yet, such thoughts have prompted diverse viewpoints with accompanying grounds or reasons. Happiness is an unending topic of discussion in philosophy. This paper explores the similarities and differences in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and John Stuart Mill’s Utilitarianism to coin a position in whether or not happiness is the ultimate end that human society aspires to acquire.
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.
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
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).
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.
The ultimate goal of human life for Plato is to know and understand the truth or the “eidos” of the “good”. The only way for us to see this truth is through our minds. The truth is not accessible in the physical world but in the intellectual realm. For us to be happy or for use to know the truth is only when we are beyond our physical sense it is a totally different level. So according to Plato, “knowledge” and “virtue” are corollary meaning that as long as one exists the other will follow.
On the contrary, the acquisition of a good life should rather focus on achievement of an overall balance between an individual with the surrounding world, with practice of fostering good relationships with others and self cognition. The positive development of psychological wellbeing therefore will lead to enduring happiness, which is the ideal outcome of a good
Aristotle proposes that eudaimonia is the most intrinsically valuable. Eudaimonia is defined as happiness, or well-being. Happiness is probably the best English word to translate eudaimonia, the term also has relations with fulfillment, success, and flourishing. A person who is eudaimon is not just merely enjoying life but is relishing life by living magnificently. One’s reputation and success, different than one’s emotional welfare, can be affected after death, which makes Aristotle’s discussion of eudaimonia after death significantly more relevant.