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Aristotle, on Virtue and Happiness Essay Example

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Aristotle, on Virtue and Happiness

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Aristotle, on Virtue and Happiness. No wonder then, virtuous actions are in themselves pleasant, good and noble. Thus, inclusive of being the requirement of happiness, virtue is also sufficient, the complete benefactor of the same. The properties of good, noble and pleasant belong to the best activities, those that we identify with happiness, says Aristotle.The requirement of happiness to humans is, by far and large, the greatest of all concerns and their inability to constantly achieve it is a greater paradox. If what needs to be achieved is a real happiness with its real meaning, what Aristotle says makes, most pragmatically, the greatest sense. If we perpetually conduct those activities that are not virtuous and continuously claim them as virtuous and declare them as the source of happiness, all we get is that happiness which is transitory, a pleasure.

Happiness is a product of right virtue and a right virtue is a result of right activity which is further the outcome of right thought. Aristotle’s happiness is what humans are in need of. At the beginning of Nichomachean Ethics, Book II.1 Aristotle says that there are two kinds of virtue-thought and character-and in the remainder of Book II he develops an account of character virtue. Does happiness require both forms of virtue? Is one kind subordinate to the other? What light is thrown on these questions by Aristotles discussion of virtue and happiness at Nichomachean Ethics, X. Is Aristotles focus on the activity of understanding in these later chapters consistent with his earlier stress on character virtue and, more generally, his earlier stated concern with politics? Consider what additional help, if any, we get in understanding Aristotles answers to these questions from his discussion of the "most choice-worthy life" in Politics, Book VII (Readings in Ancient Greek Philosophy, 913-922).Aristotle claims that there are two types of virtues, intellectual and moral (thought and character). Intellectual virtue is the one purely based on teaching, that is, it entails people’s experience and time while moral virtue is the one that comes as a result of habit. Moral virtue thus, does not arise by nature says Aristotle for, “nothing that exists by nature can form a habit contrary to its nature” (1103a 20-21). He says that a stone that is made by nature to fall dawn can be made to fall up no matter how many times we throw it upwards. Since intellectual. Aristotle, on Virtue and Happiness.

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Ross, David, trans. Aristotle, the Nicomachean Ethics. Oxford, New York: Oxford Worlds Classics, 2009.
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