Comparing Aristotle's Idea Of Happiness And Virtue

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The Greek word for happiness is eudaimonia, which is characterized by living well and doing well in the affairs of the world. In other terms it is a moral philosophy that defines right action as that which leads to the well being of the individual and soul. It makes up part of the system of Ethics that the ancient Greek philosophers preached. Eudaimonia as the ultimate goal is an objective rather than a subjective state in that it characterizes the well-lived life by the individual. According to Aristotle, eudaimonia is made up of things not of honor, wealth, or power, but instead by rational activity in relation with virtue over a complete life. Aristotle’s idea of virtue includes things such as honesty, pride, friendlessness, wittiness, and …show more content…
Hence and the excellence man’s function is to do this finely and well. Each function is completed well when its completion expresses the proper virtue. Therefore the human good turns out to be the soul’s activity that expresses virtue” (Nicomachean Ethics, 1097a13). This quote from Aristotle brings in one of his most persuasive arguments in relation to happiness. Aristotle links the concept of happiness and virtue in saying that the most important factor in the effort to achieve this sense of happiness is to have a good moral character. He goes on to say that one must have this sense of complete virtue, meaning that it is not enough to have a few virtues but instead one must strive to possess them all in order to achieve happiness in the end. He says, “The happy person is the one who expresses complete virtue in his activities, with an adequate supply of external goods, not for just anytime but for a complete life” (Nicomachean Ethics, 10101a15). This quote backs up Aristotle’s argument in that happiness consists of achieving these virtuous actions not just at certain points in one’s life but throughout one’s whole lifetime. Aristotle goes on to say that life requires us to make choices, and some of them bring us immediate pleasure while others require some sort of sacrifice to reach happiness. Some of these actions that bring us immediate pleasure might be easier but they are not virtuous actions and will not make us happier in the long run. However these actions that require some sacrifice in the beginning and the use of virtuous actions may bring us greater happiness in life in the long run. Aristotle is against this idea of instant gratification of happiness as in his definition of happiness this temporary feeling of joy does not mean one has found happiness, due to the many events

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