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Aristotle Case

Essay by   •  December 14, 2014  •  Essay  •  636 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,302 Views

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Aristotle introduces the idea that virtue is in and of itself a happiness that can only be reached by attaining the excellence of a human being. He also believes that goodness is how well something serves its purpose, that we do not have our capacities because of our human characteristics but that we have our human characteristics because of our capacities. Unlike in contemporary society, happiness is not a feeling. Rather, it is a state of being and living well. According to Aristotle, the only way of flourishing and living well is to exercise what separates us from animals: rational choice.

Aristotle thought that every activity is aimed at some ultimate good, so this good is equated with the ultimate end at which everything aims. There is no "why" in achieving happiness since it is the highest good. He states "We do not choose everything because of something else, since if we do it will go on without limit making desire empty and futile, then clearly this end will be the good, the best good." Aristotle believed that the good life for a human being involved doing distinctively humans things, and engaging in certain activities like trying to better one's self or attempting to acquire more knowledge, not just leisure. Aristotle then explores what this ultimate good at which everything aims consists of. Aristotle measures goodness with respect to something's full capacity being actualized. According to Aristotle, happiness is something which is a choice worthy only in itself. Aristotle states that there are different types of living, since plants and animals sustain life as well. He separates what is living into different aspects with regards to what capacities they have and the way both aspects reach happiness is by having their capacity become actualized. The Vegetative is nutrition and growth. Plants are categorized in the vegetative aspect, and if a plant does not use the capacity to develop nutrients then that plant is not alive or living well. On the other hand, animals and human beings are in the Appepative aspect. If a human being or an animal does not govern impulse, the same applies in which they are not really alive or living well.

Aristotle says that a good flourishing human life is in regards to what our capacity is. What separates animals from human beings is the capacity to exercise rational choice. The way to be "good" is to exercise our capacity in a way leading to the highest good.

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