Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
Is Happiness the ultimate goal that everyone seeks?
Happiness is the goal that everyone seeks. Some people think that they seek honor, wealth, or any number of things. For example, if someone claims that they seek wealth in actuality they are seeking what they can do with that wealth. The same is for honor; they seek what other is giving them by being honored. Happiness is more like contentment. We do not make choices for the sake of something else; we make them for our own sake. The highest form of good which will create the most happiness must be something final. Happiness is the final goal that we want to reach. We reach happiness sometimes but it is something that cannot be achieved all at once. It is something that must be achieved by constantly striving for it. “Happiness is self-sufficient”, it needs nothing else because it has everything it needs. What gives someone happiness is relative to that person and different for everyone. If our ultimate goal is happiness then we have everything that we need. So striving for happiness is actually striving for everything we want and need. Therefore if we have happiness we need something else. (Book 1 Ch. 2 p.48, Ch. 7, p.50, Ch. 7 p.51-52) Does happiness consist if living in accordance with reason?
Happiness does consist in living in accordance with reason. For a man to be happy his soul must function and have activity. If a man is to have happiness he must find the right middle ground. Too much of something or too little of something will not be what he needs. Since happiness is having everything you may want or need it must be within reason because having too much will cause certain evils. Aristotle says “the good of a man is an activity of the soul in conformity with excellence or virtue, and if there are several virtues, in conformation with the best and most complete. In a complete life” Everyone must strive for excellence in what they do but they must still conform to...
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