Aristotles conception of happiness

Metaphysics substance, cause, form, potentiality Nicomachean Ethics soul, happiness, virtue, friendship Eudemain Ethics Politics best states, utopias, constitutions, revolutions Rhetoric elements of forensic and political debate Poetics tragedy, epic poetry 3. From their perspective, logic and reasoning was the chief preparatory instrument of scientific investigation. Aristotle himself, however, uses the term "logic" as equivalent to verbal reasoning.

Aristotles conception of happiness

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.

The remainder of this article will therefore focus on this work.

The Human Good and the Function Argument

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.

Aristotles conception of happiness

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.

No one had written ethical treatises before Aristotle. 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.

The difficult and controversial question arises when we ask whether certain of these goods are more desirable than others.

From the SparkNotes Blog

To be eudaimon is therefore to be living in a way that is well-favored by a god. But Aristotle never calls attention to this etymology in his ethical writings, and it seems to have little influence on his thinking.

No one tries to live well for the sake of some further goal; rather, being eudaimon is the highest end, and all subordinate goals—health, wealth, and other such resources—are sought because they promote well-being, not because they are what well-being consists in.

But unless we can determine which good or goods happiness consists in, it is of little use to acknowledge that it is the highest end. One important component of this argument is expressed in terms of distinctions he makes in his psychological and biological works.” (Aristotle 21) Aristotle’s conception of happiness supports the view of only the virtuous person can be said to be truly happy.

“Happiness is believed to be the most desirable thing in the world” (Aristotle 14). The concept came to fruition in Aristotle's "Nicomachean Ethics", which dates from the 4th Century B.C., although the earlier thinkers Democritus, Socrates and Plato described a very similar idea.

Socrates, as represented in Plato's early dialogues, held that virtue is a sort of knowledge (the knowledge of good and evil) that is required to reach the ultimate good, or eudaimonia, which is what.

The human good or happiness is not merely a result of rational choice, but consists in it, because a rational action or activity is one whose principle expresses the agent's conception of what is worth doing for the sake of what.

Published: Mon, 5 Dec In this paper, I wish to explore the concept of happiness as well as Aristotle’s take on it.

I think for most of us, we rarely stop and think about what happiness is even though we cannot deny its inevitable existence. Dec 03,  · Aristotle states that happiness is something, “final and self-sufficing, and this is the end of all that man does”.

Aristotles conception of happiness

In order to gain a more basic definition, Aristotle then pursued the question of what is the function of man. Politics is a practical science, since it is concerned with the noble action or happiness of the citizens (although it resembles a productive science in that it seeks .

Aristotle's Function Argument - Oxford Scholarship