Aristotle's Theories Of Good Life

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Parfit asks the question of what makes someone’s life the best and he answers the question with three different theories which he calls theories of self-interest. After he states these theories, he concludes that the best life should contain some elements of these different theories. One of these theories which he thinks it should be in the theory of the best life is the objective list theory. This theory states that there are certain good things and bad things for people regardless of the agent’s attitudes toward them. Since the list is objective, it does not matter whether a person desires to have the good things or not. Therefore, the objective list of goods contains things that are generally considered as benefits by many people such as …show more content…
According to him, happiness or human flourishing is a sufficient good which is desired for itself, not for the sake of something else and this happiness is the ultimate end or purpose of life that provides the best life. Being virtuous brings about being happy. Therefore, Aristotle’s idea of happiness can be interpreted as objective since living a virtuous life leads all humans to be happy and all human beings have the same basic nature which requires the same things to be happy. However, virtue in his ethics also is related to the agent’s character. If virtue is dependent on our character, it can demonstrate itself through habit. For Aristotle, if people gain good habits of character, their decisions can be more reasonable. Therefore, in time, habits can be changed by the agent. For example, if a non-virtuous man changes his character and becomes a virtuous man he can achieve the best life. This means that people can be virtuous by making an effort. However it is not sufficient to do virtuous actions to be virtuous. It should be the agent’s choice to do that action and there should be a desire which arises from the free will. Aristotle claims that man can be moral within himself, and man cannot be virtuous simply by doing right …show more content…
However, it is possible to reconcile them in some sense. In my opinion, Aristotle’s idea that happiness depends on the character but also that happiness is objective not subjective, is one of the complementary elements of Parfit’s theory of objective list. Parfit’s theory ignores the agent’s character and his or her will by claiming that objective goods can benefit people independently of their attitudes toward them. Since having the goods in the list without awareness does not provide the best life to that person, character should be counted as an important element of the best life. Also, in the list of goods there are some goods about the character and these goods are not contingent, they should be gained by the agent. Although, ignoring the character indirectly makes that goods arbitrary. Aristotle states that by practice it is possible to gain these characteristics and this is the way for the best life. Therefore, we should take subjective properties of the one who took the action into consideration instead of only considering the objectiveness. By doing that, it can be filled out the Parfit’s objective list

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