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Aristotle on Happiness

Aristotle on Happiness Aristotle believes that happiness rests within an absolutely final and self-sufficient end. The reasoning behind this theory is that every man is striving for some end, and every action he does must be due to this desire to reach this final end. He believes that in order for a man to be happy, he must live an active life of virtue, for this will in turn bring him closer to the final end. Although some may believe that these actions that the man chooses to take is what creates happiness, Aristotle believes that these actions are just a mere part of the striving toward the final end. Ancient ethical thought has created the idea that an ethical life is a rational life centered on some good. This good that he speaks of is what he believes is happiness. When looking at this theory plainly, one might believe that this final end could rest in a man’s occupation, for if he enjoyed his trade, he would be acting rationally, and centering his attention on a certain good, the good which he produces. For example, some may believe that for a bridle maker the final end would be the finished bridle. Even if this man loves his work, the happiness he gets out of making this bridle is in no way his only reason for doing what he does. This bridle is made so he can sell the bridle, which creates wealth, which others may see as the final end that may create happiness. Wealth by itself cannot be the final end, since wealth itself does nothing unless this wealth is used in a certain way to bring about this feeling of happiness. The man may then choose to use his wealth in such a way that will make his children have a better life, such as buying a house so his children are sheltered from the elements. This being a virtuous act, could also be seen as another action which some may believe is what brings a man to a state of happiness. But even by creating a better life for his children, the man still hasn’t reached happine...

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Aristotle on Happiness. (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 03:27, August 23, 2014, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/96644.html