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Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics
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DescriptionAristotle Nicomachean Ethics
Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics
Aristotle's views on the purpose of human life are to be found in his book, Nicomachean Ethics. He analyzes and explains a situation then defines it relating it to the real world. In the beginning of the book, he states that everyone wants to be happy. According to Aristotle, happiness is the highest good (p.261) because of its sufficiency end in itself. Rationality is our distinctive activity and our intelligence separates us from other animals, so every activity you do, you actually do it for some purpose and he believes that all the activities that human beings do are to achieve a greater good. According to him, there is only one final end of a man's action because it is done purposely for a certain target or achievement. Also virtue is good because it makes human beings happy. Virtue is excellence and it equals goodness. Aristotle declares that ''The virtue we must examine is human virtue, since we are also seeking the human good and human happiness. And by human virtue we mean virtue of the soul, not of the body, since we also say that happiness is an activity of the soul'' (p.268). He believes that in order to be happy, human has to live an active life of virtue because it is for the sake of the soul. Jonathan Barnes states, ''Aristotle is not asking what makes us happy, and he is not concerned with the question of how we ought to lead our lives, if that question is construed as a moral one. He wants to instruct us in how to make a success of our lives''. Happiness is important, but it isn't about happiness. It is about making success in your life, which is a good life. A good life is you develop a person who makes virtuous decisions. Aristotle believes that you are successful if you create a virtuous person. If you create a virtuous person who maybe is happy, but it is not the end of happiness. The end is being virtuous person. Aristotle states that a virtuous man is a person who has ideal character traits which derives naturally, but the traits need to be trained and taught so that they will be stable once acquired precisely through education. You learn by doing. He asks ''is happiness acquired by learning, or habituation, or by some other form of cultivation? ...
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