Aristotle And Mill Vs. Mill Essay

1668 Words Jul 13th, 2016 7 Pages
The concept of what defines and constitutes a happy existence has been at the core of philosophical questions for centuries. Two famous philosophers, Aristotle and John Stuart Mill, constructed theories on the definition of happiness and what facilitates a happy life. On one hand, Aristotle encourages living an actively rational and virtuous life to achieve happiness. On the other, Mill believes that living a pleasurable life will result in happiness. Although Aristotle and Mill have different understandings of happiness, the concept plays a central role in both of their moral theories. Initially, Aristotle establishes that happiness, or eudaimonia, is the highest good, or ultimate telos, of each person’s life because happiness is an end in itself. He acknowledges that, generally, happiness is associated with physical or sensual pleasures, such as wealth or receiving honors. Although wealth, honor, friendship, love, and pleasure can all contribute to happiness, these qualities cannot constitute the highest good. Aristotle considers humans to be rational, not animalistic, creatures. Thusly, physical pleasures would not satisfy our full potential or purpose in life. Instead, Aristotle asserts that the key to fulfilling our purpose in life, which is achieving true happiness, is to have a rational and moral character. He connects the concepts of happiness and virtue, ... If this is the case, and we state the function of man to be a certain kind of life, and this to be an…

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