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Aristotle On Happiness And Virtue Essay

2081 words - 8 pages

In our society today, we are mostly challenged by two questions: ‘is it right to do this or that? And ‘how should I be living in society?’(Bessant, 2009). Similar questions were greatly discussed in the history by our ancestors in their philosophical discussions. The most ancient and long-lasting literature on moral principles and ethics were described by Greek philosopher Aristotle. He had an excellent command on various subjects ranging from sciences to mathematics and philosophy. He was also a student of a famous philosopher. His most important study on ethics, personal morality and virtues is ‘The Nicomachean Ethics’, which has been greatly influencing works of literature in ethics and heavily read for centuries, is believed to be written 2000 years ago. However, it still serves as an iconic work of literature for readers as it provides modern readers with new perspectives to known human behaviors and needs. In his writing, Aristotle insisted that there are no particular standard set for morality and that any ethical theory must be based specifically on the human psychology and human nature. Aristotle’s writings and research is based on analytical methods, which is why it serves as a basis for modern research methods. In the current paper, Aristotle’s view on happiness and virtues will be discussed in details.

Aristotle’s Background
In human history, Greek civilization is found to be one of the oldest and most resourceful civilizations. This civilization gave so many thinkers and philosophers to the World, who have argued excellent ideas and, as a result of this, equipped human beings with the foundation of various branches of knowledge. Modern generations and societies, who have seen major developments in different branches of knowledge, including philosophy, used Greek knowledge and research as their basis. Among some of the great and outstanding thinkers of human civilization, one of the most famous is Aristotle. He worked in countless fields, but his work in the fields of politics and ethics have been remarkable and demands special consideration.
Aristotle was born in Greece in the year 384 B.C (britannica.com, 2013). His father died in his earlier days, leaving Aristotle to be raised by his guardian. At the age of 17, he was admitted into Plato's academy. Plato was also one of the most renowned philosophers. He served for the purpose of edification of the Alexander the Great. At the age of 49, Aristotle started his own school and named is ‘Lyceum’. When Alexander died, Aristotle escaped to Athens fearing life attacks. In 322 B.C, Aristotle died. He was at the age of 62 when he died.
He is honored to be author of ‘The Nicomachean Ethics,’ which was in fact the 1st book ever written on the subject of ethics. The book is greatly influential, even in modern times. By an analysis of Aristotle’s literature, it can be observed that he primarily focused on preaching to be ‘virtuous’ rather than focusing on the theories of what ‘virtue’...

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