A summary of Nicomachean ethics.
An essay about the ultimate form of happiness. Not the brief pleasure sought by impulse. Nor is it the object of passions that many act toward, even being equipped with the knowledge of what true happiness is and what is good and virtuous. It is the happiness that is obtained through the knowledge of what is the true good. It is a virtuous desire to seek this knowledge for the betterment of that object as a whole, for the essential quality that would be considered “good” for that particular object. With a drive toward seeking that knowledge, obtaining it, then putting it to use with habits formed by this knowledge, one can achieve the ultimate form of happiness. To be virtuous without an exalted or selfaware desire to be named as such. There is no superficiality about a truly virtuous person, it can only be obtained through complete and utter honesty within oneself and others. Aristotle also believed the political way of life to be the highest of pursuits as that is one that is directed toward doing the most good to the “citizens”, and can affect and influence a great deal of people’s knowledgepursuits and good qualities.
Bullet points of the main arguments:
● Every action taken is aimed at some good
● Happiness is that of the knowledge for betterment of the whole and acting upon it ● Wealth is “useful”, honor and virtue can be superficial pursuits, pleasure and personal gain is vulgar.
● The final good is: “...that which is always desirable in itself and never for the sake of something else.” (section7 pargraph2)
● Selfsufficient happiness is not just for the betterment of the individual but those around him. “...since man is born for citizenship.” (section 7 paragraph 4) ● Human good is the activity of soul in accordance with virtue ● The function of man is an “activity of soul which follows or implies a rational principle.” (section7 paragraph5)
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