The Pursuit of Happiness
In Book I of Neomachean Ethics Aristotle explores the issue of happiness in order to determine the nature of the experience and its effects on the way people live their lives. He talks about the success and fulfillment of happiness and how it is our highest goal. However, Aristotle does not say that we should aim for happiness, but we do aim at happiness. His point is not to say that we should live happy lives, but to show us what a happy life consists of. He states a number of concepts relating to the term happiness that shocks everyone who hears. Nevertheless, his outstanding proclamations add to the understanding of the term happiness.
Everyone agrees happiness is needed in everyone’s life, but disagrees on what happiness consists of. Everyday people view happiness with sensual pleasure in the higher ends of the human life. Other people say that being rewarded for something that is accomplished is the greatest good. According to Aristotle, accomplishments are seen as recognition of goodness, so in turn there must be a greater good that these accomplishments reward. Even if there were a single form of good, the question is how to attain this goodness. Aristotle tells us that we should focus ourselves on how to be good and how to actually pursue it in everyday life. A person who is fully and completely happy is not just enjoying life, but enjoying life successfully. Aristotle also talks about happiness and considering a person’s life as a whole, not just bit and pieces of it. This raises the suggestion that a person can be considered happy only after death. On the contrary, Aristotle also believes that you do not have to wait for a person to die to decide whether or not they are happy. Happiness can be driven from all of these circumstances. It is a fact that humans experience pleasures and joy in their lifetime. However, it is also the case that they experience troubles that brings about grief and pain. Nevertheless, the presence...
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