Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics: Happiness Through Virtue

1219 Words 5 Pages
Denisse Garcia
Honors 2
Dr. Jeffrey Brodd
November 18, 2017
Happiness Through Virtue Aristotle asserts that an ideal life culminates in life through living virtuously. In his famous piece of literature, Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle defines happiness and how it is achieved. In a similar style Zhuangzi and Plato reveal the meaning of happiness through their works of literature and how it is achieved. All three have similar ideas of happiness and what it means, but what differs is how happiness is attained and approached. In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle explores what is the ultimate purpose of human existence. Throughout his work Aristotle describes happiness and what it is as well as how it is attained. Aristotle discloses that happiness
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Therefore detaching oneself of those materialistic objects and beautiful things in order to see the real happiness. When that happens you will never again be tempted by beauty, “And once you have seen it , you will never be seduced again by the charm of gold, of dress, of comely boys, you will care nothing for the beauties that used to take your breath away.”(Plato on Love 212d). In the speech Aristophanes, Aristophanes applauds male to male relationships. In his speech he is able to recognize that love is more than just physical needs it is longing to regain a lost happiness. It reveals that we are not so much attracted to a person’s qualities, but rather the person themselves so the other half. Also in the Agathon speech Agathon suggests that the god of Love is the happiest because he is the most beautiful. As well as Agathon praising him because all good things come from him. Agathon claims that it was the desire and love that led Apollo to discover archery, medicine, and prophecy. By separating the desire for pleasure and the practice of virtue it is where one finds …show more content…
However, the way virtue is approached differs from both. Aristotle believes that happiness comes from the practice of virtue unlike Zhuangzi that believes virtue comes from the Way and the ability to not act. Both approach the attainment of virtue differently, but ultimately both believe that in order for a person to have happiness they must be virtuous. Aristotle, Zhuangzi, and Plato all had a similar perspective on happiness and what it meant, however they each approached how to attain happiness differently. Aristotle believed that happiness came through the practice of virtue, Zhuangzi believed it came from not acting and following the Way, while Plato believed that happiness is attainable through human effort and through the education of desire. All three works of literature put a heavy emphasis on virtue and how it is linked to

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