An Analysis Of Nichomachean Ethics An Exercise In Self Denial

896 words - 4 pages

Aristotle starts out in his philosophy with a contention that all being seek to reach one ultimate unified goal. This is supported by his premise that all actions are designed to reach some end. And in this he came to the conclusion that life itself comes to some purpose. He acknowledges that all actions are not for some other purpose as he states that otherwise they would continue "ad infinitum". He therefore concludes that all things are to some ultimate unified end. He there fore states that the purpose of his essay is to determine what that ultimate end is. He states that the goal of such an effort is the ultimate elevation of the state through the elevation of its citizens. He then follows with the contention that although the goal cannot be perfectly attained he must continue the search for knowledge simply because ethics require him to.He then argues that every "knowledge and moral purpose aspires to some good" but ask what that good is. He contends that all beings seek happiness. He also holds the belief that people define happiness in many different ways. He then proceeds to state that he will examine the most popular as an exhaustive analysis would be impossible to complete with in the confines of any time period.Aristotle then continues with where a definition of happiness can be derived. HE states several differing opinions starting with the common perspective of it being a life of enjoyment. He then says that there are three main life styles the Sensual as pursued by a Persian king by the name of Ashurbanipal of Assyria. He then states that the goal of the political people's identify happiness with honor. He then argues that this is invalid because it is more about those that pay it rather than to whom it is paid. And thusly is invalid as a lifestyle.Aristotle then proceeds to discuss the original question of what is good? He points out the good is different in all pursuits and clarifies that the good of all these tasks is united in one ultimate good. He then continues to expound on his definition of happiness it being performing a function. He determines that the function of man is to reason. By reasoning man reaches happiness and self control.Aristotle then proceeds to justify his argument for purpose as happiness by explaining the workings of a soul. He divides into two sections one rational and the other bestial. After he does this he then proceeds to continue dividing the souls pieces into subdivisions. He then mentions a section called virtue.Virtue is defined as a path of increased wisdom and...

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