Aristotle concept and belief in life happiness through the ingredient of virtue

The contemporary and wide use of the word happiness implies a state of mind or may be a condition of pleasure and joy Eudaimonia is far put from this definition. According to Plato, in his city of God, happiness must be regarded as sovereign good and must align itself in accordance with life of virtue. In his assertion of this argument, Plato puts it that it is only through the knowledge of God that one can attain happiness of this sense. In the proper definition of happiness or Eudaimonia Aristotle, puts it as the best possible way of living.

Aristotle concept and belief in life happiness through the ingredient of virtue

AristotleAyn RandegoismeudaimoniaNichomachean Ethicsobjectivismphilautiaself loveselfishnessthumos The phenomenon of friendship, with its richness and complexity, its ability to support but also at times to undercut virtue, and the promise it holds out of bringing together in one happy union so much of what is highest and so much of what is sweetest in life, formed a fruitful topic of philosophic inquiry for the ancients writes Lorraine Pangle in her introduction to Aristotle and the Philosophy of Friendship.

Pangle contends that it is precisely in the friendships of mature and virtuous individuals that Aristotle saw human love not only at its most revealing, but also at its richest and highest. Philosophy since Kant has largely followed him in understanding truly moral, praiseworthy human relations to be based on altruism, a wholly selfless benevolence towards others, guided either by absolute moral law or by a utilitarian pursuit of the greatest good for the greatest number.

When compared to friendship, altruism directed to the good of humanity seems higher, more selfless, more rational, and more fair Today we reasonably assume that the enemy of morality is selfishness. Starting from self-interest, we would find acquisition, pleasure, and selfishness the primary threats to, and alternatives to, virtue.

But is altruism really possible? How are our altruistic motives, related to our self-interested motives? If we normally act with a view to our own good, but sometimes choose actions that have nothing to do with our own good, or even oppose it — is there any higher, unifying principle or faculty of the soul that decides between these contrary principles of action, judging them by a common standard?

Ayn Rand rejected altruism, and in fact, blamed it for the plight of human civilization, and with the presumed backing of Aristotle, wrote fervently in support of self-interest and rational egoism in The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged, and in her other writings.

Aristotle assumes neither the possibility nor the impossibility of what we would call altruism, but instead offers a sustained and sympathetic exploration of what is really at work in the human heart when an individual seems to disregard his own good to pursue the good of others.

He nonetheless insisted that self-love was the highest love and maintained a conception of selfishness, such that it not only contributed to, but was requisite for, virtuous living. This particular understanding of selfishness is best explained in his chapters on friendship in the Nicomachean Ethics, but it is also referred to in numerous other writings, such that there can be no doubt that he sincerely held this belief.

Ayn Rand holds Aristotle in the highest regard and utilizes his conception of selfishness as the philosophical underpinning for her version of egoism and objectivism. He places friendship as one of the virtues necessary for living well, an essential ingredient for attaining the virtuous life.

Friendship seems to have an especially close connection with moral virtue, standing as a crucial link in a chain that the treatment of the separate virtues has not yet completed. In the lives of virtuous agents, friendship is far more involved and significant than just good will, actually aiding their progression towards fulfilling their ultimate end goal, which for Aristotle is human flourishing.

Aristotle is committed to the unity of virtue and happiness and rejects the commonly held notion that what is really good for us is not what is most pleasant, and that what is right or noble is often neither good nor pleasant. Aristotle argues, to the contrary, that the activity of virtue is the very substance of human happiness and this unity for Aristotle seems best achieved within the context of serious friendship.

Aristotle also bases his political theory on friendship. Amity among people in the society is requisite for the proper function of the social order, which for him, of course, was the Athenian polis.

Aristotle concept and belief in life happiness through the ingredient of virtue

The task of the Ethics is to show how our rational powers and our thumos can be fulfilled through virtuous activity. The Nicomachean Ethics is that demonstration. It is this sharing which is essential and primary to the constitution of any form of community, whether that of a household or that of the city.

Lawgivers, says Aristotle, seem to make friendships a more important aim than justice a24 ; and the reason is clear.


But that affection arises within a relationship defined in terms of a common allegiance to and the common pursuit of goods.

The affection is secondary, which is not in the least to say, unimportant. This contrasts with our modern perspective in which affection is often the central issue. Friendship has become for the most part the name of a type of emotional state, rather than that of a type of social and political relationship.

Indeed, from an Aristotelian point of view, a modern liberal political society can appear only as a collection of unconnected men who have banded together for their common protection.True happiness can therefore be attained only through the cultivation of the virtues that make a human life complete.

The Nature of Virtue Ethics is . Aristotle on the Good Life December 19, Aristotle, Happiness John Messerly Aristotle ( BC – BC) was a Greek philosopher, a student of Plato, and teacher of Alexander the Great.

Happiness is a much-debated topic in both ancient and contemporary philosophy. The aim of this paper is twofold: first, to establish what are the necessary and sufficient conditions of eudaimonia for Aristotle in Book I of Nicomachean Ethics; and second, to show how aristotle’s theory is also a.

Now, instead of the life of an effective and successful citizen, Aristotle is holding up the life of study and contemplation as the one that achieves happiness — that is, . Through enough training of the mind, you will be able to achieve such vividness of imagination that you can relive these experiences and that happiness.

This idea is well illustrated by Victor Frankl, the Viennese psychiatrist who suffered four years in various concentration camps, including Auschwitz. Aristotle makes this point in several of his works (see for example De Anima a23–b7), and in Ethics X.7–8 he gives a full defense of the idea that the happiest human life resembles the life of a divine being.

He conceives of god as a being who continually enjoys a “single and simple pleasure” (b26)—the pleasure of pure thought.

Virtue Ethics: Morality and emotions