The Concept Of Happiness In Aristotle's Happiness Depends On Ourselves?

1033 Words 5 Pages
Register to read the introduction… We will not achieve happiness simply by enjoying the pleasures of the moment. Unfortunately, this is something most people are not able to overcome in themselves. As he explains, “The mass of mankind are evidently quite slavish in their tastes, preferring a life suitable to beasts” (Nicomachean Ethics, 1095b 20). Later in the Ethics Aristotle draws attention to the concept of akrasia, or weakness of the will. In many cases the overwhelming prospect of some great pleasure obscures one’s perception of what is truly good. Fortunately, this natural disposition is curable through training, which for Aristotle meant education and the constant aim to perfect virtue. As he puts it, a clumsy archer may indeed get better with practice, so long as he keeps aiming for the target. Also it is not enough to think about doing the right thing, or even intend to do the right thing: we have to actually do …show more content…
While there are different kinds of friendship, the highest is one that is based on virtue. This type of friendship is based on a person wishing the best for their friends regardless of utility or pleasure. Aristotle calls it a “… complete sort of friendship between people who are good and alike in virtue …” (Nicomachean Ethics, 1156b07-08). This type of friendship is long lasting and tough to obtain because these types of people are hard to come by and it takes a lot of work to have a complete, virtuous friendship. Aristotle notes that one cannot have a large number of friends because of the amount of time and care that a virtuous friendship requires. Aristotle values friendship so highly that he argues friendship supersedes justice and honor. First of all, friendship seems to be so valued by people that no one would choose to live without friends. People who value honor will likely seek out either flattery or those who have more power than they do, in order that they may obtain personal gain through these relationships. Aristotle believes that the love of friendship is greater than this because it can be enjoyed as it is. “Being loved, however, people enjoy for its own sake, and for this reason it would seem it is something better than being honored and that friendship is chosen for its own sake” (Nicomachean Ethics, 1159a25-28). The emphasis on enjoyment here is noteworthy: a virtuous friendship is one that is most enjoyable since it combines pleasure and virtue together, thus fulfilling our emotional and intellectual

Related Documents