The contemporary and wide use of the word happiness implies a state of mind or may be a condition of pleasure and joy Eudaimonia is far put from this definition. According to Plato, in his city of God, happiness must be regarded as sovereign good and must align itself in accordance with life of virtue. In his assertion of this argument, Plato puts it that it is only through the knowledge of God that one can attain happiness of this sense.
Preliminaries Aristotle wrote two ethical treatises: In any case, these two works cover more or less the same ground: Both treatises examine the conditions in which praise or blame are appropriate, and the nature of pleasure and friendship; near the end of each work, we find a brief discussion of the proper relationship between human beings and the divine.
Though the general point of view expressed in each work is the same, there are many subtle differences in organization and content as well. Clearly, one is a re-working of the other, and although no single piece of evidence shows conclusively what their order is, it is widely assumed that the Nicomachean Ethics is a later and improved version of the Eudemian Ethics.
Not all of the Eudemian Ethics was revised: Perhaps the most telling indication of this ordering is that in several instances the Nicomachean Ethics develops a theme about which its Eudemian cousin is silent.
Only the Nicomachean Ethics discusses the close relationship between ethical inquiry and politics; only the Nicomachean Ethics critically examines Solon's paradoxical dictum that no man should be counted happy until he is dead; and only the Nicomachean Ethics gives a series of arguments for the superiority of the philosophical life to the political life.
The remainder of this article will therefore focus on this work. Page and line numbers shall henceforth refer to this treatise.
It ranges over topics discussed more fully in the other two works and its point of view is similar to theirs. Why, being briefer, is it named the Magna Moralia? Because each of the two papyrus rolls into which it is divided is unusually long.
Just as a big mouse can be a small animal, two big chapters can make a small book. A few authors in antiquity refer to a work with this name and attribute it to Aristotle, but it is not mentioned by several authorities, such as Cicero and Diogenes Laertius, whom we would expect to have known of it.
Some scholars hold that it is Aristotle's earliest course on ethics—perhaps his own lecture notes or those of a student; others regard it as a post-Aristotelian compilation or adaption of one or both of his genuine ethical treatises.
Although Aristotle is deeply indebted to Plato's moral philosophy, particularly Plato's central insight that moral thinking must be integrated with our emotions and appetites, and that the preparation for such unity of character should begin with childhood education, the systematic character of Aristotle's discussion of these themes was a remarkable innovation.
No one had written ethical treatises before Aristotle. Plato's Republic, for example, does not treat ethics as a distinct subject matter; nor does it offer a systematic examination of the nature of happiness, virtue, voluntariness, pleasure, or friendship.
To be sure, we can find in Plato's works important discussions of these phenomena, but they are not brought together and unified as they are in Aristotle's ethical writings.
The Human Good and the Function Argument The principal idea with which Aristotle begins is that there are differences of opinion about what is best for human beings, and that to profit from ethical inquiry we must resolve this disagreement. He insists that ethics is not a theoretical discipline: In raising this question—what is the good?
He assumes that such a list can be compiled rather easily; most would agree, for example, that it is good to have friends, to experience pleasure, to be healthy, to be honored, and to have such virtues as courage at least to some degree.Aristotle concludes Book I.7 famously by arguing that pursuing a certain kind of happiness is the defining feature of man -- what separates us from every other kind of thing.
Let's carefully take apart this argument, since there is a lot of philosophy in here. Also in the discussion is the argument of Aristotle that it is a conceptual truth that men want to live a good life and indeed the best possible life; or in other words that men want happiness- this, as we said, being the word that people use for the life they think as the best possible one.
In conclusion, according to Aristotle, what is happiness? Happiness is the ultimate end and purpose of human existence; Happiness is not pleasure, nor is it virtue.
It is the exercise of virtue. Happiness cannot be achieved until the end of one's life. Hence it is a goal and not a temporary state.
Happiness is the perfection of human nature. Sep 08, · Chris Surprenant (University of New Orleans) discusses the account of human well-being and the good life presented by Aristotle .
Feb 02, · For both Plato and Aristotle, and indeed for most Greeks, virtue was essential for happiness (eudaimonia, which means "happiness" or "good character," more broadly self-fulfillment or the good life).
A key difference arises when it comes to how we acquire those virtues. Aristotle’s argument can be considered flawed when he suggests only human beings with full use of reason can be considered happy because happiness comes by reasoning.
Aristotle argues that what sets humans apart from animals are reason and the ability to perform actions that only humans can perform.