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Aristotle's Pursuit of Happiness - Essay Example

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Aristotle's Pursuit of Happiness

Another example person who looks for the pleasure through eating must find the mean between gluttony and starvation. The Greek word eudaimonia is usually understood as the translation for “happiness”. The problem is that happiness is usually perceived with a subjective mental state, as when one claims to be happy enjoying a dozen cans of cool beer on a searing day, or is having enjoyment with friends. On the other hand, Aristotle believes that ideal of happiness is the ultimate end that covers the entirety of any human being’s life. Happiness is not something that can be achieved or discarded in the temporariness of time like that found in pleasurable sensations. Happiness is more likened to the importance of an individual’s life as lived up and measuring how well one has lived up to his or her full potential. It is because of this reason that an individual cannot really make any statement regarding whether he or she has achieved a life of happiness until it has ended.  Aristotle thinks that the most significant reason in the endeavor to accomplish happiness is to practice and cultivate good moral character or virtue ethics. It should be noted, however, that being virtuous is not something that is gained passively. ...
The achievement of these various endeavors would lead to the perfection of human nature and enrichment of life. This involves any person to make decisions, some of which may be easier said than done. Most of the time, the lesser goods bring the assurance of instant enjoyment and more appealing, while the greater good more tasking and likely demands some degree of patience and perseverance. For example, it is likely to be easier and more enjoyable to spend the night going to the pub and have some booze and fun, but knowing that it will be better off if dealing for a project in which the due date is the next day. Improvement for a good character demands a strong will in doing what is right, even in the most testing challenges and situations. What this means is that the rational part of the soul should control the rational part (Stumpf, 94). It would be understandable then that Aristotle is highly critical of the culture of instant satisfaction which seems to be predominant way of life in the modern world today. To be able to attain the lifestyle of complete virtue, an individual needs to make right decisions by taking to account the future ultimate result as a whole. Happiness will not be achieved simply by indulging the pleasures at the whims of temporariness. Since the passions are capable of a wide range of action, all the way from too little to too much, a person must discover the proper meaning of excess and defect and thereby discover the appropriate mean (94). However, this undertaking is a task most individuals will find hard overcome in themselves. Eventually, the virtue ethics of Aristotle will bring the awareness to the concept of akrasia, which means the weakness of the will. Most often than not, the irresistible prospect of some great ...Show more

Summary

Aristotle’s Pursuit of Happiness Among the various philosophers, Aristotle holds that idea of happiness as a primary activity of human existence and a meaningful objective as well. The result of this made Aristotle dedicate more effort to the issues of happiness than any other philosopher before the thinkers of the modern age…
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