Aristotle: Why A Life Of Contemplation Is The Happiest.

1200 words - 5 pages

In Book X of the Nichomachean Ethics, Aristotle discusses the various lives that people lead in order to achieve true happiness. He suggests a particular few to be the best candidates for this, yet concludes the most pleasant to be the contemplative life. In this essay, I will examine Aristotle's reasons for believing that a life of contemplation and reason is the best one. I will also show how his argument is not persuasive due to his lack of support for a number of the premises stated.In order to fully understand Aristotle's reasoning for saying that a life of contemplation is the happiest, we must first be aware of what "happiness" means to Aristotle. Every day of our lives, we use the word "happy" in a sense which means "feeling good". We use the word happy to describe pleasures that we are experiencing at any given moment. In this meaning of the word, it is quite possible for us to feel happy at one moment and not at the next. This is not Aristotle's meaning of the word. For him, the human life may involve many pains and troubles accompanying the pleasurable moments, yet still can be considered a happy life. Happiness, in other words, is not an emotional or psychological feeling (Aristotle, p. 40). It is not the pleasure or the pains that we experience throughout our lives. It is a "complete life", according to Aristotle, involving pleasurable and not so pleasurable experiences (Aristotle, p. 41). This is why Aristotle believes that no child can be happy for the have not yet completed their life (Aristotle, p. 40). He also argues that a life must be finished before a person can call it a good or happy life. Not until it is really over can you say, "It was a good life" -- that is, if it has been well lived. Toward the middle, or before, all you can say is that it is becoming a good or happy life (Aristotle, p. 40).Aristotle believes there are three types of lives that are thought to be happy: the life of enjoyment, the Political Life, and the contemplative life. The life of enjoyment focuses on traditional pleasures, the Political life aims for honor and moral virtue, and the contemplative life is a life of wisdom (Aristotle, p. 37). However, Aristotle goes on to say that the best and most pleasant life must be one that fills the proper function of man (Aristotle, p. 48). He claims that there must be a primary function that distinguishes man from all other living things. Life is common to pants, just as perception is common to animals (Aristotle, p. 38); therefore, if we are to eliminate what is common to all living things, we are left with our ability to rationalize, or in other words, reason (Aristotle, p. 48). As said before, if the best life is one that fills its proper function, which Aristotle concludes to be reason, then the best and most pleasant life must be a life of reason.With this established, Aristotle furthers his argument by saying that this life of reason and contemplation will be the happiest, also because the gods are...

Find Another Essay On Aristotle: Why a life of contemplation is the happiest.

The elements of a tragedy by Aristotle.

1456 words - 6 pages Aristotle says tragedy must obtain 6 elements and the play must have unity of time, place and action. Those elements are plot, character, diction, thought, spectacle, and song. The character in the elements should be a superhuman, above the average person. He has to have a tragic flaw and have both virtue and vice - be both virtuous and villainous. The unity in a tragedy is based on: Time- the action of the play should occur within the span of a

What is popular culture and why is it such a big part of life in the UK?

1233 words - 5 pages social life and has a close relationship with mass media. Meanwhile, it is motivated by profit-seeking business, usually liked by young people, and ever-changing. According to Christopher (1999), 1950s is a changing era in every dimensions of UK society, especially for culture. This essay will give the definition of popular culture by examining each of key factors above and explain the reason why it plays a key role in the UK by exploring historical

"Aristotle on Business Ethics" is a short essay on the ideas of Aristotle and how they may apply to the business ethics which we hold today.

1023 words - 4 pages business ethics because it is simply one's interaction with money-making. It is not unusual for such business-involved individuals to admit that the decisions made by he or she are based on benefits, especially profit. For the great philosopher, Aristotle, benefits in business do not equate to happiness.The ideal life is one which is full of happiness. People today are living under the false impression that happiness may be achieved through wealth

The Biography of Aristotle

3762 words - 15 pages of the modern vitalist school of Biology to represent the formative principle of organic life.) Besides the psyche or mortal soul, Aristotle taught that there is in man a rational soul, the "creative reason," and with Plato held this Nous to be pre-existing and eternal, although he denied that the mind-principle carries with it the knowledge gained by individual experiences in the past, speaking of metempsychosis as "absurd." Thus, with

An analysis of The Happiest Refugee by Ahn Do

690 words - 3 pages Happiest Refugee' written by the narrator himself, Ahn Do, about his life, uses narrative techniques and conventions to engage and encourage the readers to respond in particular ways. Emotions such as sympathy, warmth, admiration and suspense are encouraged by the text through the characters of Ahn Do, his Mum, other members of his family and the use of the pirates & their conduct. Ahn Do successfully achieves these reactions through the use of narrative conventions like first person point of view, dialogue, characterisation and descriptive language.Bibliography:Newton, Adam Refugees & courage University of Melbourne Press, 2009

Aristotle and The Human Good This is an essay on Aristotles arguement that happiness is the highest end of human good. I argue against his points and give details why

1179 words - 5 pages theory as he considers his theory "absolute" and final. By doing so Aristotle is making a very bold assumption that there hasn't been a single child or animal that has ever or ever will experience happiness, in this case meaning a "flourishing life". This is drastically going out on a limb as one may argue that a child that knows the good and happiness is able to comprehend and have full reason of happiness. A child knows between right and wrong

Why is Life Cellular

624 words - 2 pages . Without an input of energy, the highly organized structure of a cell would rapidly disintegrate, and the cell would die, which brings us back to mortality, where this list started!So Why is Life Organized into Cells?In a living system, hundreds of specialized processes must be going on simultaneously, all at the right times and at the right rates. Dozens of different complex molecules must be present in the correct proportions and concentrations

Aristotle: The Pursuit of Happiness

1588 words - 6 pages Aristotle and Plato both are both well known for their focus on defining the purpose of being human. To them, humans have a particular characteristic that no other living thing possesses. That characteristic is that humans strive to achieve a level of goodness. Although they agree with each other that there is a highest good one must achieve in order to live a fulfilling life, they have different ideas on what that good is. On Aristotle’s

The Reasons why Writing is a Part of Me

1141 words - 5 pages well. I whether write on a piece of paper to tell people how I feel about things than to tell feelings better when I am writing it is just a part of me.   Works Cited 1. Joe Bunting. The Write Practice. “Why We Write: Four Reasons” Copyright © 2013 • The Write Practice. We Write to discover meaning (par. 2) http://thewritepractice.com/why-we-write/ 2. Ericson Ay Mires “Journal Writing: 5 Smart Reasons Why YOU Should Start doing it TODAY

A Comparison of Plato and Aristotle.

1892 words - 8 pages class is biological as well as moral, Plato reassures that there won't be any disruption in the harmony of the state.Whereas Plato's The Republic is a text whose goal is to define Justice and in doing so uses the polis, Aristotle's The Politics's sole function is to define itself--define politics. Aristotle begins his text by answering the question: 'Why does the state exist?' His answer is that the state is the culmination of natural associations

"Sanctity of Life or the Quality of Life Principle, is society forced into a moral vacuum?"

1485 words - 6 pages would make it morally abhorrent to eat plants let alone meat. The theory that is meant to protect lives would have us all starving.I think that the view that only human life is sacred because we are of the same species, leads us to a quality of life view that species is as much a quality as communication. Also this view leads us into what Singer titles specisism. People who hold this view must explain why being of the human species makes a moral

Similar Essays

Aristotle: The Life Of Contemplation Is The Best Life

1238 words - 5 pages 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

Plato's Happiest Way Of Life Essay

1001 words - 4 pages Plato's Happiest Way of Life A just life in a just society would be the happiest possible way to live for Plato. Justice is defined as a balanced and well-integrated specialization of functions both within the scope of society and the individual. The just society classifies its members on the basis of individual differences in intellectual and physical abilities and is therefore warranted. The way to achieve a happy life is only half

The Life And Works Of Aristotle

2258 words - 9 pages kinds find their existence in particular individuals. Science and philosophy must therefore balance, not simply choose between, the claims of empiricism (observation and sense experience) and formalism (rational deduction).One of the most distinctive of Aristotle's philosophic contributions was a new notion of causality. Each thing or event, he thought, has more than one 'reason' that helps to explain what, why, and where it is. Earlier Greek

A) Outline The Metaphysical Hierarchy Of Aristotle

1559 words - 6 pages . The fourth cause is the final cause which is defined as that for the sake of which something is made. It is the purpose of why an object was made. The final cause has two subcategories; they are the essential form and the accidental form. The essential form is the unique function of an object. It is defined as that characteristic that is true of every member of the species. The accidental form is defined as those characteristics that are true of a