Aristotelian Ethics and the Pursuit of Happiness
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The paper relates that Aristotle's ethics are very promising in that he posits that within each human being there exists some ultimate good which all human actions ultimately strive toward. The paper discusses other positive aspects of Aristotelian ethics and explains how happiness is defined by Aristotle as the continuous contemplation of eternal and universal truth. The paper points out, however, quite a few generalizations in Aristotelian ethics as well as criticisms of his conception of happiness and his idea of actively engaging in our own happiness.
From the Paper:"Aristotelian ethics - or Nicomachean ethics as it is also known - is a philosophical investigation into the nature of what a good life is for a human being. Aristotle's ethics are very promising in that he posits that within each human being there exists some ultimate good which all human actions ultimately strive toward. He said: "Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and pursuit, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to that at which all things aim" (Aristotle & Ross 2009). Furthermore, "Aristotle follows philosophical tradition in affirming that the best activity of which human beings are capable is contemplation of that which constantly is" (Knight 2007). When individuals participate or engage in contemplation, they are fulfilling their highest potential. Aristotle believed that it was in contemplating the divine that humans come the closest of which they are capable to participating in divinity (2007). But contemplation is not something that is static; according to Aristotle, to be contemplative and to, ultimately, be happy, one must be active in their pursuits.
"There are a number of "good" aspects about Aristotelian ethics. First of all, Aristotle believed that the highest good and the end toward which all human activity directed is happiness, which, as aforementioned, is defined by continuous contemplation of eternal and universal truth."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Aristotle. & Ross, W.D. (2009). Nicomachean ethics. World Library Classics.
- Barnes, Jonathan. (1995) The Cambridge companion to Aristotle (Cambridge companions to philosophy). Cambridge University Press; 1st edition.
- Broadie, Sarah. Ethics with Aristotle. Oxford University Press.
- Cooper, John M. (1986). Reason and human good in Aristotle. Hackett Pub Co.
- Kilcullen, R.J. (1996). Aristotle's ethics. Accessed on November 15, 2010: http://www.humanities.mq.edu.au/Ockham/y67s08.html#8
Cite this Analytical Essay:
Aristotelian Ethics and the Pursuit of Happiness (2013, May 01) Retrieved July 18, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/aristotelian-ethics-and-the-pursuit-of-happiness-152998/
"Aristotelian Ethics and the Pursuit of Happiness" 01 May 2013. Web. 18 July. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/aristotelian-ethics-and-the-pursuit-of-happiness-152998/>