Aristotle uses Nicomachean Ethics in his theory of happiness to defend the view he takes on happiness. He begins by creating a big illusion that all things aim at some good. By saying that all things aim at some good, Aristotle means that everything has some aim or end to be achieved and the restricted good which every activity intends to achieve actuates the nature of that activity. Aristotle gives an example of health and the practice of medicine, the main aim of medical science is to attain health for everyone and health is in itself a good. Therefore the aim of medical science is good. Activities carried out in the real world achieve something desirable otherwise they would not be practiced. According to Aristotle, activities are hierarchically related to other activities and ends to ends (Broadie 11). Some ends are therefore subordinate to others. Hedonists and non-hedonists would disagree on what is subordinate to what between virtue and pleasure. Aristotle’s approach focuses on subordination-relations to cover individuals with different ethical attitudes. Subordination-relations are apparent to all who appreciate how diverse activities in a society are organized and the fact that all these activities aim at some common good. Aristotle argues that some end is ultimate for an activity and concludes that the ultimate is the good and the best but some activities may lead to others or each to various ultimate ends. Broadie states that “what is ultimate is not uniquely supreme, but it seems logically and ethically harmless, there could be conflict not resoluble by argument since it might not always be possible to act for the sake of one end without passing up an opportunity to act for the sake of another” (14). Since realistic people can avoid having different ends becoming adversaries’, anarchy or imposition of unreasonable decisions can also be avoided. Aristotle argues that knowing if there is a best should come before deciding what is the best. For him identifying a knowledge or skill first cultivates a good identification of the object or end. As far as ethics is concerned, the good is happiness. Despite the fact that everyone is mainly concerned for his own happiness, Nicomachean ethics does not ascertain or presume that a person can or should seek only his own good. It rather concentrates on activities and crafts in general. Aristotle argues that to form good decisions and carry them out, individuals need to understand impulse and not just apply philosophical ethics. “Lectures on ethics cannot act up for moral discipline.” (Broadie 20). It is not just enough to believe in theory; practicing things believed is a sure way of making progress. There is need to desire and act in congruence to reason. Reason does not just refer to philosophical light gained through studying ethics but rather to a progressive pursuit of the good life. According to Broadie, the pursuit is realistic not just for being established from an understanding of principles but because a good life is the kind of good that can only be achieved if individuals place some desires as secondary to others (21). This gives an individual a sound mind to choose what to do and discard what he may have felt like doing. In
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Name Philosophy 25 May 2012 Aristotle’s Concept of Happiness People have different opinions of the best, happiest and most worthwhile kind of life for human beings. Happiness in life tends to be measured in terms of honorable achievements and pleasures and excitements of service to the community, material productiveness, luxury, happy personal relationships and other factors but an agreement on the principal factor to measure happiness and what is best for human beings is necessary (Broadie 3)…
In general, people act in a manner that provides them or assures them of happiness, contentment or satisfaction. Feelings that are transient or fleeting do not have much of an impact on this view of happiness. An important feature of Aristotle’s description of happiness relates to the possession of material goods, enjoyment of the finer things of life or the obtention of honors.
The primary concept is based on the idea that the middle class is the focus of the concept of justice providing for this social class also being the center of the development of the constitution. Through the middle class, the ideas of justice are lined to the idea of constitutions and the development of the polity becomes founded upon ideals that are focused on the justice that serves the greatest numbers of people.
Within this concept of happiness, Aristotle posited that such virtue is achieved by following the rule of the Golden Mean. According to Aristotle’s concept of the Golden Mean one may be able to justify a proper code of conduct. For example a warrior must seek courage, which is the mean between being cowardly and reckless, in order to proceed with his or her duties.
In his estimation, regulations inspire people to conduct themselves morally, therefore, the fair individual, whose character is legitimate, will essentially be honourable. He states that a desirable character who claims he/she acts according to the moral code of justice is not the same thing as justice itself because it is only concerned with an individual’s moral state, while fairness has to do with an individual’s associations with other people.
The conclusion will show the difficulty in agreeing with Aristotle's theories.
In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle asserts that numerous aims and activities exist, therefore there are numerous goods. He contends that happiness is the most superior of these goods, from which every other action comes, and that this, which he calls eudaimonia (happiness, prosperity or good fortune) is achieved as a result of living well and doing well.
Happiness is thus, unabashedly an end that should be sought by everyone, not only because it promotes private satisfaction of desires, but tends to promote the general welfare of society. On the other hand, the concept of happiness used as a basis for morality, being conditional on securing an end when applied to an individual, in Immanuel Kant's The Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals illustrates the opposite of what he calls the categorical imperative - the "unconditional ought", derived from acting in accordance to duty, that is the very foundation of morality.
Happiness is one of those qualifying factors that is incredibly difficult to define, and yet each person in the world uses it to rate their lives on a daily basis; it is the great question of life, ‘are you happy?’.
negative behaviors of sadness, there is much less research on the “problem” of happiness, mainly because happiness is not a problem, simply somewhat of a mystery. Myers and Diener (1995) appear to suggest, as this writer would agree, that happiness comes from within. These
Scholars through the ages are still in search for the nature and what happiness is all about.
A question remains as centuries come and go and this is question is about what happiness is and its nature. Three of the greatest Greek
Although to both of them it is a feeling that is difficult, its effects can be easily described by these individuals. Given the candid nature in which they explained their state of happiness, it was clear that
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