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Aristotle's Notion On Eudaimonia And Virtue

1807 words - 7 pages

In Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics he accounts that humans should make sacrifices and should ultimately aim first and foremost for their own happiness . In the paper I will argue that it is really in a person’s best interest to be virtuous . I will do this by first describing Aristotle’s notion on both eudaimonia and virtue , as well as highlighting the intimate relationship between the two . Secondly I will talk about the human role in society. Thirdly I will describe the intrinsic tie between human actions . Finally I will share the importance of performing activities virtuously .
The central notion of Aristotle is eudaimonia or “happiness” which is best translated as a flourishing human life . Happiness is a complete and sufficient good , and ever human aims for this “good” . It is a good that is chosen for its own sake and is the mean to the highest good , which is happiness . There is a contemplation about what constitutes as happiness , because it is dependent on each individual . Aristotle argues that a person’s life can not be determined as happy or unhappy until after they are dead . He says this because we consider human’s life as a whole not as a brief moment in time , therefore we can not establish if a person has a happy life until we can evaluate their life as a whole .
Virtue is a right or appropriate feeling at the right time , towards the right person or object in the right way . In Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics he discusses different types of virtues such as : fear , honor , magnificence , wit , and truthfulness . Virtue is then held between two extremes , excess and deficiency . Possessing the mean is dependent on the circumstances and requires prudence in order to distinguish what the mean is . Acting virtuous and being virtuous are two entirely different devices , because acting virtuous doesn’t make you a virtuous person . However , acting virtuous is the mean to becoming virtuous . There are conditions for virtue which consist of , having the appropriate inner state , taking pleasure in what your doing , doing it for certainty and firmness , and being aware of what you are dong . If a person performs a virtuous act without the right intentions the act is not longer virtuous . Virtue is acquired through habituation , making or becoming accustom or use to something . A person is not born with virtue , but by nature is capable of achieving and perfecting virtue . The way in which a person habituates virtue is by practicing virtuous acts and initiating virtue at a young age .
“Happiness is the highest good, being a realization and perfect practice of virtue, which some can attain, while others have little or none of it...” (Aristotle) . The relationship between virtue and happiness have an close and personal relationship . Virtue is necessary for eudaimonia but it is not sufficient for eudaimonia . Aristotle believes that virtue is most important to eudaimonia , because eudaimonia involves activity which is exhibiting...

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