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Aristotle's Argument For People's Actions Essay

654 words - 3 pages

Aristotle's Argument for People's Actions

Aristotle argues things people do aims at some end or end. The highest end to all of these things is attaining happiness. I maintain that it is impossible for a human being to be happy according to Aristotle's definition due to the fact that he sets strict conditions of perfect virtue thus happiness.
Aristotle suggests that happiness is not a state, but rather we count happiness as an activity. He argues that happiness is an activity of the soul in accordance with perfect virtue. This cannot be true, because if one, at anytime, acts outside of perfect virtue than he has undermined the whole "activity." Aristotle argues that happiness is not found in amusement for it is too incongruous to end in amusement, and that our efforts and sufferings would be aimed at amusing ourselves. I argue that happiness can be found in amusement. When one is amusing himself he is said to be happy. But this does not agree with Aristotle's theory of perfect virtue. Aristotle contests that the happy life seems to be in accord with virtue, which involves serious actions, not amusing ones. Thereby Aristotle is saying that things taken seriously provide happiness as opposed to funny things that provide amusement not happiness. I maintain that one cannot act in continuous perfect virtue, consistently take things seriously, and engage in serious action. This would make for an impossible doing by a human being. For one cannot act in perfect virtue all the time. Does this mean he will never attain happiness?

Aristotle's definition of happiness is utilitarian. What Aristotle is arguing is theory that the aim of action should be the largest possible balance of pleasure over pain or the greatest happiness for the greatest number, the most virtuous. To become virtuous, one...

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