Aristotle 's View Of Happiness Essay

839 Words Sep 3rd, 2015 4 Pages
In Nichomachean Ethics Aristotle seeks to answer what the purpose of human existence is. To do this he looks to find an end point to the things we do, something that is sought after only for itself, not for what it gets us. Through this definition he asserts that happiness is the final good of human life; “Verbally there is very general agreement; for both the general run of men and people of superior refinement say that it is happiness.”(Aristotle 1730) Aristotle claims that all men agree happiness is the end goal, however, they differ on its definition. There are many different means by which the basic definition of happiness can be attained. The life of pleasure, money making, and gratification all fit happiness’s material definition. However, Aristotle’s view of happiness differs as it is centered on the human function.
He asserts that human’s primary function in nature is reasoning consisting both of moral and intellectual virtues. Happiness is not an individual goal, rather it is something that should be accomplished together. This is why he claims that superficial things such as glory, honor, and wealth are not a part of happiness. For moral excellence it is essential to find balance between pleasure and pain according to Aristotle; “so as both to delight in and to be pained by the things that we ought; for this is the right education.” (Aristotle 1744) Pain is what causes people to avoid noble actions whereas pleasure is the temptation that results in evil…

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