When it comes to the wide spectrum that is ethical theories, Aristotle and Immanuel Kant are on the far edges of both sides. Where Aristotle believes that happiness is the centerpiece of morality, Kant is the direct opposite and believes that happiness is not the focal point of morality. If these two were both living at the same time, it would quite the debate to have seen unfold. By illustrating a dialogue between Aristotle and Kant, a better understanding of their theories in regards to happiness.
Aristotle’s main argument is that happiness is the ultimate goal for humans., “Happiness depends on ourselves, more than anybody else.” Aristotle states that the end goal for all human activities is happiness. He also states that as happiness is achieved, it occurs over the course of a lifetime; like friends, wealth, and knowledge.
Kant’s belief is the complete opposite of Aristotle. Kant believes that happiness isn’t viable as the basis of morality. If people did whatever it took to be happy, it would prevent others from being happy which would lead to the notion that everyone could not be moral. The duty is what we as moral beings should strive for as Kant believes.
If these two philosophers were alive today and were to debate about the topic of happiness, they would disagree on a number of things. First Kant would disagree with Aristotle’s belief that happiness is the ultimate goal for humans. He would go about refuting by saying that if everyone did whatever they wanted to do and ignored their duty in order to seek happiness; it would lead to some people doing things that would prevent others from being happy. For example, this scenario is about if you were a coach for a little league baseball team and your son’s skill level is much lower then the other child who plays the same starting position. Kant in this situation would say it’s the coach’s duty to do what is best for the team and not what he