Aristotle: The Life Of Contemplation Is The Best Life

1238 words - 5 pages

In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle discusses happiness to be the 'ultimate goal' for living a virtuous life. With this in mind, he came up with the theory of there being two types of good: The instrumental good; when one choosing something for the sake of another and intrinsic good; when one chooses something for its own sake. Chief good is another theory developed by Aristotle that shares similarities with intrinsic good. Furthermore an example of a chief good would be the concept of happiness. One who believes that happiness is the "ultimate goal" has to realize that whatever one does in life, or chooses how to live their life, is doing so for one thing, which happens to be happiness; thus making it the chief good. In order to fulfill the chief good of happiness and live a good life one has to live a virtuous life. Living life virtuously is merely living life with a purpose and in this case it is for the sake of happiness. Aristotle expresses three types of life which he believes to be virtuous: political life: honor, pleasurable life: appetitive and contemplative life: wisdom. The life of contemplation is seen as the best life by Aristotle; this paper will examine his reasons for believing that it is the best, through his convincing arguments. Thus, explaining that it is the life that gods portray, it requires little to no external equipment, and also defines the human function.In studies of religion, humans are more than often portrayed as an image of God. From this belief Aristotle goes on to assume that since Gods portray the life of contemplation, humans should and probably will mirror that image of living a contemplative life. "The activity of God, which surpasses all others in blessedness, must be contemplative; and of human activities, therefore, that which is most akin to this must be most of the nature of happiness" (Aristotle, pp. 48). Aristotle is explaining to his readers that God is higher then all humans, and he reasons with human activities. Therefore showing that God as an ideal is contemplative, and makes this virtuous way of life result in happiness. Moreover, God and all his greatness influences those who believe in him/her being superior and if he/she is to be happiest when he/she is contemplative then a life of contemplation is the best one.The life of contemplation can be better described as a life of reasoning. With that correspondence it is noted that one who lives the life of contemplation is able to reason their way of life; with the things they have body and soul, with little to no external goods. "External goods are things like wealth, property and family that are in an obvious sense external to oneself" (Jackman 2006 (1)). To live a happy contemplated life, one does not need the external goods of wealth, property or family. A life with little to no external goods is still a good life; it does not matter if one does not have equipment to better their life because it is not essential. This is because those who live a...

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