Aristotle’s Account of Pleasure Essay

1276 Words Jan 4th, 2016 6 Pages
Aristotle’s Account of Pleasure

We are a pleasure driven society always waiting to be amused. Self indulgence is a very natural aspect of human life. Does pleasure affect our lives? Will it make us happy at the end? Well, Aristotle will let us know what it means to be happy and have a good life in the Nicomachean Ethics. In the process, he reveals his own account of pleasure as well as other philosophers opposing views on the subject. The author highlights the key them by telling us that pleasure is not the chief good. However, it is an end in itself, which makes it good. In addition, pleasure is also not a process because it doesn’t involve any movement from incompleteness to completeness. According to Aristotle, happiness is
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There is no right formula for determining the mean, it is relative to each individual and the situation.

Aristotle tries to give his own account of pleasure in response to the first view. He agrees with Plato’s notion that pleasure is more desirable when it’s mixed with intelligence than without. If the mixture is better than pleasure can’t be good. The good can’t be more desirable by the addition of something else. He states that pleasure may not be the chief good, but it’s a good and an end in itself. What he is trying to say is that pleasures do not involve movement from unfinished to finished product, therefore it is not a process. Pleasure itself is whole and complete which makes it a good, e.g. the house is an end in itself and building of a house block by block is the process. He claims that pleasure is a natural state of human beings and it is relative to the situation and an individual. Pleasures are only good when performed in accordance with the virtuous actions, e.g. when he says a friend is different from a flatterer seems to make it plain that pleasure is not good (1173b, 32). However, if one saves the cat from an accident then this is considered to be a virtuous act. That’s why he suggests that we should teach our children about pleasure and pain from very early age to build a good character so they can form a habit of enjoying what is good and dislike what is bad. According to Aristotle, pleasure is a part of an activity. If one is

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