Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics Essay

1132 words - 5 pages

In consideration to Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle’s view of the great-souled man is that of an individual that represents happiness and obtains the five virtues: wisdom, justice, bravery, self-control, and the overall goodness within an individual (happiness). The magnanimous person is very complex and displays the proper virtues at the proper time, and in the proper way. In addition, the great-souled man accommodates to his surroundings where he is honorable but not boastful in his actions. Aristotle believes that it is only possible to attain happiness within a political organization because happiness represents living well without being concerned with others, they solely live for the truth and not approval.
Aristotle believes that happiness rests within an absolutely final and self-sufficient end. The reasoning behind this theory is that every man is striving for some end, and every action he does must be due to this desire to reach this final end. He believes that in order for a man to be happy, he must live an active life of virtue, for this will in turn bring him closer to the final end. Although some may believe that these actions that the man chooses to take is what creates happiness, Aristotle believes that these actions are just a mere part of the striving toward the final end. I believe that Aristotle’s great-souled man is the highest virtue of character; His actions are never too extreme and he is appropriate in all his manners. The magnanimous person is within the intermediate state of character. “The deficient person is pusillanimous, and the person who goes to excess is vain” (§35). The magnanimous person surrounds himself with great things. The great things occurs when “he receives great honors from excellent people; he will be moderately pleased, thinking he is getting what is proper to him, or even less” (§5). Furthermore, the individual person is considered as just and sincere in his actions and thoughts. “For the magnanimous person is justified when he thinks less of others, since his beliefs are true; but the many think less of others with no good reason*” (§22). In addition, he, the magnanimous person, will be tempted by pleasurable things that could prevent him from maintaining the highest good. However, he comes back to realization and portrays a virtuous attitude when he carries out virtuous actions; e.g. conquering his battles and winning honors, making wise decisions, etc. In relevant terms, the magnanimous person aims toward the mean and the intermediate state of character by carrying out the proper actions with the proper state of mind.
These qualifications exemplify why the happy individual can only be derived within a political organization because being self driven toward virtuosity based on the idea of reaching a final end represents purpose. Having purpose demonstrates leadership qualities, which is critical to any type of organization. In order for individuals to consider themselves worthy they must have a...

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