Essay On Aristotle's Good Life

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In The Politics, Aristotle questions the compatibility of commerce and “the good life,” a lifestyle involving political participation, financial independence, and philosophical thought that culminates in the fullest development of reason and other faculties (3). In particular, he contests the view of Solon, an Athenian politician and firm proponent of commerce and trade, who believed that “no bound to riches has been fixed by man” (11). Aristotle provides three reasons to combat Solon: the scarcity of all resources, the limitless greed of man, and the perversion of natural trade. He offers an alternative idea by stating the “instruments of any art are never unlimited,” the art here being wealth getting; thus, there is a bound to the riches …show more content…
He believes people should strive to join or form states or political communities, as he treats these as the “highest good,” but commerce allows such states to function and develop, since it leads to increased political participation among inhabitants. When an individual acquires all their necessities due to commerce, they possess more time to engage in the arts and political discourse, major components of Aristotle’s good life. Aristotle may contest this view by stating that man’s avarice for wealth is limitless, but in fact, many individuals strive for wealth in order to possess some financial autonomy. As in today’s society, many continue to work until they can retire with financial security. When individuals obtain their necessaries, they end their pursuit for currency, since they no longer have any need for money. It is at this moment that they can begin participating in the good life. As a result, society as a whole cannot reach the standards of Aristotle without the help of commerce; thus, commerce is most definitely compatible with Aristotle 's’ view of the good

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