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Favoring The Second Son Essay

622 words - 3 pages

Happiness is the most divine, but the gods did not instill it in humans, and they can only obtain it through excellence from extensive study. Only individuals who have lived their lives nobly in virtue can experience happiness, unlike children and animals, who do not have the capacity for it.
Aristotle uses a conversational tone regarding the concept of happiness, which gives the reader the sense he is speaking directly to us. He does this by using everyday language, which is easier to comprehend than more philosophical language. Philosophical language includes using almost unidentifiable vocabulary, which the average person of his time could not understand. By using the technique of everyday language, Aristotle widened the pool of listeners for his lectures.
The format of this concept continually transitions into new ideas. For instance, Aristotle initially considered the gods instilled happiness in us, then he transformed it into being the most divine, but most likely not given by the gods, and finally he hypothesized of its attainment through excellence by noble actions. The shaping of this concept acts to propel the reader forward, and it makes them want to continue listening. Also, he employed amplification in his sentences, by making them more complex to increase the understandability of his ideas. While the beginning of this concept displays a thoughtful tone for the acquisition of happiness, Aristotle ended his idea on the element of the uncertainty present in everyone's life, and how an otherwise happy person can become unhappy. In order to illustrate this point, he used the example of Priam's unlucky fate in the Trojan War.
The highest good can seem unattainable to the ordinary person, since they will seek to fill their lives with pleasures of the flesh. However, the political life can act as a stepping stone to the highest good, as those who seek to have honor...

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