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Aristotle's Ethics Essay

1084 words - 5 pages

Aristotle’s Ethics
The goal of human life according to Aristotle is Happiness as he stated in Nicomachean Ethics, “Happiness, then, is apparently something complete and self-sufficient, since it is the end of the things achievable in action.” Aristotle states that happiness is not just about being content in life but that one has to have lived their life rationally, well, and to the fullest of their capabilities. Happiness, according to Aristotle, can only be achieved by focusing on mans’ life as parts of a whole.
Aristotle believed that to achieve true happiness there where necessary conditions one had to have. One of those necessary conditions was virtue. Aristotle believed in two types ...view middle of the document...

Take someone who is very wealthy and smart and can buy anything their heart desires they may seem to have found happiness but they are lonely because money cannot buy true affection. Then there can be someone who is poor and uneducated but has a family who loves and them dearly, this person cannot be truly happy for he worries about sustaining his family daily.
Eudaimonia, according to Thomas Nagel in Aristotle on Eudaimonia; “is realized in the activity of the most divine part of man, functioning in accordance with its proper excellence.” The virtues according to Aristotle play a big role in eudaimonia. Aristotle believed that virtue is a necessary condition for happiness. In order to reach eudaimonia a person must be virtuous. A true virtuous person must have three conditions. They must know they are doing the right thing, they must choose the action because they know it is the right thing, and they must derive from a firm or fixed character trait. Phronesis is the virtue of practical thought, in thinking positively about how to reach a certain goal in this case the ultimate goal. This ties in with Aristotle’s ethical theory because in order to reach the ultimate goal in life, happiness, you have to keep thinking positively and doing positive things throughout your life.
Aristotle believed that virtue is only a necessary condition in order to reach the final and most important goal in life, happiness, while Socrates believed that virtue was the only thing needed in order to reach happiness. Socrates thought that only what was internally good in human beings was what was important and that none of the external things such as money and looks mattered in the end because neither could help you accomplish your goals in life. He believed that in order to be virtuous a human being needed only the virtue of thought and the virtue of character. In a perfect world it would be nice to believe that a person needed only what their brains and personality could offer to achieve their goals. Aristotle on the other hand thought that you...

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