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The Contradictions In Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics

824 words - 3 pages

When I think about what makes me happiest in life, I put my family and friends at the top of the list. I know that there is no way I would be who I am today without them. My family loves me and has taught me most of what I know about how to live. Friends have taught me so much more about myself than I could ever have imagined; how to laugh at myself, how to love myself, how to learn from my mistakes, etc. All these people in my life have given me so much and I have in return offered what I have to give. Secondly, I would probably put my knowledge. It is what I need to be able to understand how the world works today and voice my opinion in the community; to benefit myself and teach others. Next on my list, I would put art. It allows an inner, more down-to-earth part of me to be expressed that cannot be done in words. All these things are actions and they define who I am. Without them I don't know what I would do. In Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics there is emphasis on the importance of action. From action of life, friendship, and happiness (which are voluntary actions), to action of reason (which is a rational faculty of the mind), we could not exist without action.

To begin with, voluntary actions are those "of which the moving principle is in the agent himself, he being aware of the particular circumstances of the action."p.967 23-24 Choice is also voluntary or in our own power and is that desired after deliberation. An example of this is action of friendship. Friendship is a reciprocated goodwill. In other words, friends must mutually recognize bearing goodwill and wishing well to one another, otherwise one would never know how the other felt and it would not be friendship. Aristotle goes on to state the desire of a virtuous friend for a virtuous man by explaining that life is the act of perceiving or thinking and it is good for the virtuous man because it is of the nature of the good. And if life is good and pleasant and he who perceives, perceives that he exists (because perceiving is existing) and this is pleasant and if the virtuous man is to his friend as he is to himself: if all of this is...

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