Aristotle's Concept of Happiness Essay by Charlie

Aristotle's Concept of Happiness
This paper discusses Aristotle's concept of happiness and its corollary, virtue.
# 62957 | 935 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2004
Published on Dec 18, 2005 in Philosophy (Ancient Greek)

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This paper explains that Aristotle describes happiness not in hedonistic terms but as an activity of the soul in accordance to virtue thus a person can only obtain Aristotle's happiness by living up to their highest potential virtue. The author stresses that neither pleasure nor honor can bring about true happiness. The paper relates that Aristotle uses the "doctrine of the mean" to describe the vice/virtue relationship between activities: If a person possesses a quality, learned or innate, it is possible to take a larger, smaller or equal amount of that activity relative to one's own needs.

From the Paper:

"In the "Christmas Carol", Ebenezer Scrooge is a miserly banker who does not become happy until he is visited by ghosts. He learns to value humanity and it is implied that he is freer with how he spends his money. He no longer hoards it in his house but donates it to his neighbors. Happiness can be seen as, "an activity of soul in accordance with virtue, or if there are more kinds of virtue than one, in accordance with the best and most perfect kind. There is a further qualification: in a complete lifetime. One swallow does not make a summer; neither does one day. Similarly neither can one day, or a brief space of time, make a blessed man happy..." Thus, happiness is not only living up to ones potential, but also living up to one's supreme potential, what they are best at. "

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