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Aristotle's Beliefs On Elements Needed To Live A Happy Life

872 words - 3 pages

According to Aristotle, there are three basic kinds of goods that are necessary to possess in order to live a happy life. “These three goods are: bodily goods, external goods, and goods of the soul also known as psychological goods”. Bodily goods are non-tangible, and they would be considered anything that would lengthen a human beings life expectancy. Good health, no or very few illnesses, vitality, freedom from pain, and no or few injuries would all fall into this category. External goods are tangible items that make living and going about everyday life much easier. These external goods provide individuals with comfort and/or access. Food, water, shelter, transportation, medicines, clothing, and money all fall into the external goods category. The third kind of good are goods for the soul also known as psychological goods. The ability to acquire knowledge, skills, thinking and reasoning, relationships, musical and artistic abilities, self-esteem, and athletic abilities all are classified as goods of the soul. There is also a fourth basic good - Luck. It is always helpful to have a little luck on your side.

Virtue is necessary gauge, that is used in order to establish the proper balance of the amount of goods intake to make an individual happy. Virtue is there to let individuals know when they have consumed enough of the particular good in question, in order to extinguish that desire. Without achieving this level of satisfaction, human beings will begin developing compulsions and other disruptive or disturbing behaviors that go along with behaving to an extreme.

“To be virtuous, according to Aristotle, means to to use our reason to live well and thereby achieve eudaemonia or happiness”. Virtue comes from the culmination of nature, habit, and reason. An individual must develop good habits and sound reasoning skills in order to know how to respond appropriately in a given situation. The only sure fire way to change habit and reason is through education. Education of all humans should begin at birth and it entails molding or shaping a child’s habits. Changing a child’s habits and reasoning skills to put them in sync with nature, will thus lead to a virtuous person.

The development of good habits and reasoning skills are crucial to achieving virtue. Developing good habits and reasoning skills through education helps an individual gain knowledge, self esteem, and helps to determine our purpose in...

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