On Happiness Aristotle Essays

This requires us to make choices, some of which may be very challenging.

Later in the Ethics Aristotle draws attention to the concept of akrasia, or weakness of the will.

In many cases the overwhelming prospect of some great pleasure obscures one’s perception of what is truly good.

Unfortunately, this is something most people are not able to overcome n themselves.

As he explains, “The mass of mankind are evidently quite slavish in their tastes, preferring a life suitable to beasts” (Nicomachean Ethics, 1095b 20).

In order to achieve the life of complete virtue, we need to make the right choices, and this involves keeping our eye on the future, on the ultimate result we want for our lives as a whole.

We will not achieve happiness simply by enjoying the pleasures of the moment.

As Aristotle writes: “He is happy who lives in accordance with complete virtue and is sufficiently equipped with external goods, not for some chance period but throughout a complete life. To Aristotle, happiness consists in achieving, through the course of a whole lifetime, all the goods; health, wealth, knowledge, friends, etc.

that lead to the perfection of human nature and to the enrichment of human life.

the function of man is to live a certain kind of life, and this activity implies a rational principle, and the function of a good man is the good and noble performance of these, and if any action is well performed it is performed in accord with the appropriate excellence: if this is the case, then happiness turns out to be an activity of the soul in accordance with virtue. In this quote we can see of Aristotle’s theory link between the concepts of happiness and virtue.

Aristotle tells us that the most important factor in the effort to chieve happiness is to have a good moral character, what he calls “complete virtue.


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