Aristotle essay happiness

As state before, he explains that pleasure leads to happiness, and happiness is the ultimate goal of each individual. Morality is the ideal, not the reality. Because of his views on morality Mill would not agree with Aristotle that the completely ethical person will not be conflicted about his ethical choice. According to Mill a person could do the right thing, and act morally while also having the desire to do the wrong thing.

To explain this, he gives the example of a rescuer who saves another person from drowning. Mill essentially believes in concrete happiness and believes that people should be happy while they are alive. I side completely with Aristotle in that he believes that the purpose of pleasures is to serve as side product of activity to perfect our activities. For example, for a mathematician to become an excellent mathematician he must become very talented in doing mathematical activities but also must have the pleasure in doing this activity.

I agree here with Aristotle that those persons who are destitute of self-control do not use their reason, take pleasures exceedingly, in the wrong way and in the wrong objects. Ultimately, in order to act virtuously a person must act rationally in a manner that is between the two extremes of deficiency and excess when it comes to matters of pleasure. Thus, pleasure should not be sought just for its own sake. In terms of moral actions, Mill arguments also seem to be flawed. He believes that the goodness of an action is based on whether or not it produced pleasure and happiness for the greatest number of people.

There is little emphasis on the disposition and character of the agent performing the action. This idea seems illogical because then everyone would be acting without reason and doing things for the wrong intentions. I will explain the five fundamental concepts of Plato and Aristotle. I will focus on their theories on the good life as a life of justice, censorship, knowledge and the good life. Plato was a philosopher, both a rationalist and absolutist. According to Plato, people must be schooled to obtain certain kinds of knowledge for example mathematics, philosophy etc.

The training will give them. His principles of common sense were built on naturalism and self-realization, which greatly influenced the world. His systematic concept of logic touched upon ethics. The Good Man Based on Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics Plato believed that a man could only become good by knowing the truth, and he could not know the truth without being good.

This shows to be somewhat of a paradoxical argument. On the other hand, Aristotle had a different theory regarding the goodness of man. Aristotle claimed that the good man was the norm and the measure of ethical truth. Pertaining to Aristotle's definitions, in this essay I will explain the meaning of the previous statement. I will firstly attempt to summarise the five fundamental concepts of Plato and Aristotle before providing my own opinion and view on their ethics.

I will concentrate on their theories on the good life as a life of justice, censorship, knowledge and the good life. Plato was a philosopher who was both a rationalist and absolutist. According to his view, people must be. The Human Function as it Pertains to Happiness Humans have a function, according to Aristotle, and so it would follow that fulfilling that function makes us happy. Before we can establish that fulfilment of purpose results in happiness, we must first establish what the human function actually is, and also what constitutes good and happiness for humans.

People have discovered that happiness is actually related to multiple benefits of our mental and physical health. Nevertheless, everyone is suffering finding sustainable happiness. Aristotle, in his work called Nicomachean Ethics, presents the concept that living a virtuous life will produce sustainable happiness for.

Unfortunately, this is something most people are not able to overcome in themselves. As he laments, "the mass of mankind are evidently quite slavish in their tastes, preferring a life suitable to beasts" Nicomachean Ethics, b Later in the Ethics Aristotle draws attention to the concept of akrasia , or weakness of the will.

Navigation menu

In many cases the overwhelming prospect of some great pleasure obscures one's perception of what is truly good. Fortunately, this natural disposition is curable through training, which for Aristotle meant education and the constant aim to perfect virtue. As he puts it, a clumsy archer may indeed get better with practice, so long as he keeps aiming for the target. Note also that it is not enough to think about doing the right thing, or even intend to do the right thing: we have to actually do it.

Thus, it is one thing to think of writing the great American novel, another to actually write it. When we impose a form and order upon all those letters to actually produce a compelling story or essay, we are manifesting our rational potential, and the result of that is a sense of deep fulfillment. Or to take another example, when we exercise our citizenship by voting, we are manifesting our rational potential in yet another way, by taking responsibility for our community.


  • Aristotle on Happiness | Psychology Today.
  • Aristotle contemplative life essay;
  • Aristotle and Happiness.
  • Essay: Herodotus and Aristotle’s Insight on Human Happiness!
  • grade 7 ems case studies.
  • reasons for the stalemate on the western front essay!

There are myriad ways in which we can exercise our latent virtue in this way, and it would seem that the fullest attainment of human happiness would be one which brought all these ways together in a comprehensive rational life-plan. There is yet another activity few people engage in which is required to live a truly happy life, according to Aristotle: intellectual contemplation. Since our nature is to be rational, the ultimate perfection of our natures is rational reflection.

This means having an intellectual curiosity which perpetuates that natural wonder to know which begins in childhood but seems to be stamped out soon thereafter. For Aristotle, education should be about the cultivation of character, and this involves a practical and a theoretical component. The practical component is the acquisition of a moral character, as discussed above. The theoretical component is the making of a philosopher.

Here there is no tangible reward, but the critical questioning of things raises our minds above the realm of nature and closer to the abode of the gods.

Report | Happiness According to Aristotle

For Aristotle , friendship is one of the most important virtues in achieving the goal of eudaimonia happiness. This type of friendship is based on a person wishing the best for their friends regardless of utility or pleasure. This type of friendship is long lasting and tough to obtain because these types of people are hard to come by and it takes a lot of work to have a complete, virtuous friendship. Aristotle notes that one cannot have a large number of friends because of the amount of time and care that a virtuous friendship requires. Aristotle values friendship so highly that he argues friendship supersedes justice and honor.

What can Aristotle teach us about the routes to happiness? | Aeon Essays

First of all, friendship seems to be so valued by people that no one would choose to live without friends. People who value honor will likely seek out either flattery or those who have more power than they do, in order that they may obtain personal gain through these relationships. Aristotle believes that the love of friendship is greater than this because it can be enjoyed as it is. The emphasis on enjoyment here is noteworthy: a virtuous friendship is one that is most enjoyable since it combines pleasure and virtue together, thus fulfilling our emotional and intellectual natures.

Courage, for example, is a mean regarding the feeling of fear, between the deficiency of rashness too little fear and the excess of cowardice too much fear.

Justice is a mean between getting or giving too much and getting or giving too little. Aristotle is not recommending that one should be moderate in all things, since one should at all times exercise the virtues. Milo the wrestler, as Aristotle puts it, needs more gruel than a normal person, and his mean diet will vary accordingly.

Aristotle on Happiness & Function Argument

Similarly for the moral virtues. Aristotle suggests that some people are born with weaker wills than others; for these people, it may actually be a mean to flee in battle the extremes being to get slaughtered or commit suicide. In the early cosmologies, the Universe is stabilized as a result of the reconciliation between the opposing forces of Chaos and Order. The Greek philosopher Heraclitus conceived of right living as acting in accordance with the Logos , the principle of the harmony of opposites; and Plato defined justice in the soul as the proper balance among its parts.