Aristotle Concept of Eudaimonia Essay Sample

10 October 2017

Aristotle ( Ancient Greek: ??????????? . Aristoteles ) ( 384 BC – 322 BC ) [ 1 ] was a Greekphilosopher and polymath. a pupil of Plato and instructor of Alexander the Great. His Hagiographas cover many topics. including natural philosophies. metaphysics. poesy. theatre. music. logic. rhetoric. linguistics. political relations. authorities. moralss. biological science. and fauna. Together withPlato and Socrates ( Plato’s teacher ) . Aristotle is one of the most of import initiation figures in Western doctrine. Aristotle’s Hagiographas were the first to make a comprehensive system of Western doctrine. embracing morality. aesthetics. logic. scientific discipline. political relations. andmetaphysics. Aristotle’s positions on the physical scientific disciplines deeply shaped mediaeval scholarship. and their influence extended good into the Renaissance. although they were finally replaced by Newtonian natural philosophies. In the zoological scientific disciplines. some of his observations were confirmed to be accurate merely in the nineteenth century.

His plants contain the earliest known formal survey of logic. which was incorporated in the late nineteenth century into modern formal logic. In metaphysics. Aristotelianism had a profound influence on philosophical and theological thought in the Islamic and Judaic traditions in the Middle Ages. and it continues to act upon Christian divinity. particularly the scholastic tradition of the Catholic Church. His moralss. though ever influential. gained renewed involvement with the modern coming of virtuousness moralss. All facets of Aristotle’s doctrine continue to be the object of active academic survey today. Though Aristotle wrote many elegant treatises and duologues ( Cicerodescribed his literary manner as “a river of gold” ) . [ 2 ] it is thought that the bulk of his Hagiographas are now lost and merely about tierce of the original plants have survived. [ 3 ] Aristotle’s Ethical motives

Aristotle conceives of ethical theory as a field distinct from the theoretical scientific disciplines. Its methodological analysis must fit its capable matter—good action—and must esteem the fact that in this field many generalisations hold merely for the most portion. We study moralss in order to better our lives. and therefore its chief concern is the nature of human wellbeing. Aristotle follows Socrates and Plato in taking the virtuousnesss to be cardinal to a well-lived life. Like Plato. he regards the ethical virtuousnesss ( justness. bravery. moderation and so on ) as complex rational. emotional and societal accomplishments. But he rejects Plato’s thought that a preparation in the scientific disciplines and metaphysics is a necessary requirement for a full apprehension of our good. What we need. in order to populate good. is a proper grasp of the manner in which such goods as friendly relationship. pleasance. virtuousness. award and wealth tantrum together as a whole. In order to use that general apprehension to peculiar instances. we must get. through proper upbringing and wonts. the ability to see. on each juncture. which class of action is best supported by grounds. Therefore practical wisdom. as he conceives it. can non be acquired entirely by larning general regulations.

We must besides get. through pattern. those deliberative. emotional. and societal accomplishments that enable us to set our general apprehension of wellbeing into pattern in ways that are suited to each juncture. Aristotle wrote two ethical treatises: the Nicomachean Ethics and the Eudemian Ethics. He does non himself use either of these rubrics. although in the Politics ( 1295a36 ) he refers back to one of them—probably the Eudemian Ethics—as “ta ethika”—his writings about character. The words “Eudemian” and “Nicomachean” were added subsequently. possibly because the former was edited by his friend. Eudemus. and the latter by his boy. Nicomachus. In any instance. these two plants cover more or less the same land: they begin with a treatment of wellbeing ( “happiness. ” “flourishing” ) . and turn to an scrutiny of the nature of arete ( “virtue. ” “excellence” ) and the character traits that human existences need in order to populate life at its best. Both treatises examine the conditions in which congratulations or incrimination are appropriate. and the nature of pleasance and friendly relationship ; near the terminal of each work. we find a brief treatment of the proper relationship between human existences and the Godhead.

Though the general point of position expressed in each work is the same. there are many elusive differences in organisation and content every bit good. Clearly. one is a re-working of the other. and although no individual piece of grounds shows once and for all what their order is. it is widely assumed that the Nicomachean Ethics is a later and improved version of the Eudemian Ethical motives. ( Not all of the Eudemian Ethics was revised: its Books IV. V. and VI re-appear as V. VI. VII of the Nicomachean Ethics. ) Possibly the most revealing indicant of this ordination is that in several cases the Nicomachean Ethics develops a subject about which its Eudemian cousin is soundless. Merely the Nicomachean Ethics discusses the stopping point relationship between ethical enquiry and political relations ; merely the Nicomachean Ethics critically examines Solon’s self-contradictory pronouncement that no adult male should be counted happy until he is dead ; and merely the Nicomachean Ethics gives a series of statements for the high quality of the philosophical life to the political life.

The balance of this article will therefore focal point on this work. Although Aristotle is profoundly indebted to Plato’s moral doctrine. peculiarly Plato’s cardinal penetration that moral thought must be integrated with our emotions and appetencies. and that the readying for such integrity of character should get down with childhood instruction. the systematic character of Aristotle’s treatment of these subjects was a singular invention. No 1 had written ethical treatises before Aristotle. Plato’s Republic. for illustration. does non handle moralss as a distinguishable capable affair ; nor does it offer a systematic scrutiny of the nature of felicity. virtuousness. voluntariness. pleasance. or friendly relationship. To be certain. we can happen in Plato’s plants of import treatments of these phenomena. but they are non brought together and unified as they are in Aristotle’s ethical Hagiographas. Aristotle on wellbeing

The chief thought with which Aristotle begins is that there are differences of sentiment about what is best for human existences. and that to gain from ethical enquiry we must decide this dissension. He insists that moralss is non a theoretical subject: we are inquiring what the good for human existences is non merely because we want to hold cognition. but because we will be better able to accomplish our good if we develop a Fuller apprehension of what it is to boom. In raising this question—what is the good? —Aristotle is non looking for a list of points that are good. He assumes that such a list can be compiled instead easy ; most would hold. for illustration. that it is good to hold friends. to see pleasance. to be healthy. to be honored. and to hold such virtuousnesss as bravery at least to some grade. The hard and controversial inquiry arises when we ask whether certain of these goods are more desirable than others. Aristotle’s hunt for the good is a hunt for the highestgood. and he assumes that the highest good. whatever it turns out to be. has three features: it is desirable for itself. it is non desirable for the interest of some other good. and all other goods are desirable for its interest.

Aristotle thinks everyone will hold that the footings “eudaimonia” ( “happiness” ) and “eu zen” ( “living well” ) designate such an terminal. The Grecian term “eudaimon” is composed of two parts: “eu” means “well” and “daimon” agencies “divinity” or “spirit. ” To be eudaimon is hence to be populating in a manner that is fine-looking by a God. But Aristotle ne’er calls attending to this etymology. and it seems to hold small influence on his thought. He regards “eudaimon” as a mere replacement for eu zen ( “living well” ) . These footings play an appraising function. and are non merely descriptions of someone’s province of head. No 1 tries to populate good for the interest of some farther end ; instead. being eudaimon is the highest terminal. and all low-level goals—health. wealth. and other such resources—are sought because they promote well-being. non because they are what well-being consists in. But unless we can find which good or goods felicity consists in. it is of small usage to admit that it is the highest terminal.

To decide this issue. Aristotle asks what the ergon ( “function. ” “task. ” “work” ) of a human being is. and argues that it consists in activity of the rational portion of the psyche in conformity with virtuousness ( 1097b22–1098a20 ) . One of import constituent of this statement is expressed in footings of differentiations he makes in his psychological and biological plants. The psyche is analyzed into a affiliated series of capacities: the alimentary psyche is responsible for growing and reproduction. the locomotor psyche for gesture. the perceptive psyche for perceptual experience. and so on. The biological fact Aristotle makes usage of is that human existences are the lone species that has non merely these lower capacities but a rational psyche every bit good. The good of a human being must hold something to make with being human ; and what sets humanity off from other species. giving us the possible to populate a better life. is our capacity to steer ourselves by utilizing ground. If we use ground good. we live good as human existences ; or. to be more precise. utilizing ground good over the class of a full life is what felicity consists in.

Making anything good requires virtuousness or excellence. and hence populating good consists in activities caused by the rational psyche in conformity with virtuousness or excellence. Aristotle’s decision about the nature of felicity is in a sense unambiguously his ain. No other author or mind had said exactly what he says about what it is to populate good. But at the same clip his position is non excessively distant from a common thought. As he himself points out. one traditional construct of felicity identifies it with virtuousness ( 1098b30–1 ) . Aristotle’s theory should be construed as a polish of this place. He says. non that felicity is virtue. but that it is virtuous activity. Populating good consists in making something. non merely being in a certain province or status. It consists in those womb-to-tomb activities that actualize the virtuousnesss of the rational portion of the psyche. At the same clip. Aristotle makes it clear that in order to be happy one must possess others goods as well—such goods as friends. wealth. and power.

And one’s felicity is endangered if one is badly missing in certain advantages—if. for illustration. one is highly ugly. or has lost kids or good friends through decease Aristotle’s says that one’s virtuous activity will be to some extent diminished or faulty. if one lacks an equal supply of other goods. Person who is friendless. childless. powerless. weak. and ugly will merely non be able to happen many chances for virtuous activity over a long period of clip. and what little he can carry through will non be of great virtue. To some extent. so. populating good requires good luck ; coincidence can rob even the most first-class human existences of felicity. Nonetheless. Aristotle insists. the highest good. virtuous activity. is non something that comes to us by opportunity. Although we must be fortunate plenty to hold parents and fellow citizens who help us become virtuous. we ourselves portion much of the duty for geting and exerting the virtuousnesss.

is a Grecian word normally translated as felicity or public assistance ; nevertheless. “human flourishing” has been proposed as a more accurate interlingual rendition. [ 1 ] Etymologically. it consists of the words “eu” ( “good” ) and “daimon” ( “spirit’’ ) . [ 2 ] In Aristotle’s plants. wellbeing was ( based on older Greek tradition ) used as the term for the highest human good. and so it is the purpose of practical doctrine. including moralss and political doctrine. to see ( and besides experience ) what it truly is. and how it can be achieved.

In his Nicomachean Ethical motives. ( §21 ; 1095a15–22 ) Aristotle says that everyone agrees that wellbeing is the highest good for human existences. but that there is significant dissension on what kind of life counts as making and populating good ; i. e. eudaimon: Aristotle points out. stating that eudaimon life is a life which is objectively desirable. and means populating good. is non stating really much. Everyone wants to be eudaimon ; and everyone agrees that being eudaimon is related to doing good and to an individual’s good being. The truly hard inquiry is to stipulate merely what kind of activities enable one to populate good. Aristotle presents assorted popular constructs of the best life for human existences. The campaigners that he mentions are a ( 1 ) life of pleasance. ( 2 ) a life of political activity and ( 3 ) a philosophical life. Aristotle

In lineation. for Aristotle. wellbeing involves activity. exhibiting virtuousness ( arete sometimes translated as excellence ) in conformity with ground. This construct of eudaimonia derives from Aristotle’s essentialist understanding of human nature. the position that ground ( logos sometimes translated as reason ) is alone to human existences and that the ideal map or work ( ergon ) of a human being is the fullest or most perfect exercising of ground. Basically. good being ( wellbeing ) is gained by proper development of one’s highest and most human capablenesss and human existences are “the rational animal” . It follows that wellbeing for a human being is the attainment of excellence ( arete ) in ground. Harmonizing to Aristotle. eudaimonia really requires activity. action. so that it is non sufficient for a individual to possess a wasted ability or temperament. Eudaimonia requires non merely good character but rational activity.

Aristotle clearly maintains that to populate in conformity with ground agencies accomplishing excellence thereby. Furthermore. he claims this excellence can non be isolated and so competences are besides needed appropriate to related maps. For illustration. if being a genuinely outstanding scientist requires impressive math accomplishments. so that one might state “doing mathematics good is necessary to be a first rate scientist” . From this it follows that wellbeing. populating good. consists in activities exerting the rational portion of the mind in conformity with the virtuousnesss or Excellency of ground [ 1097b22–1098a20 ] . Which is to state. to be to the full engaged in the intellectually stimulating and fulling work at which one achieves well-earned success. The remainder of the Nicomachean Ethics is devoted to make fulling out the claim that best life for a human being is the life of excellence in conformity with ground. Since ground for Aristotle is non merely theoretical but practical besides. he spends rather a spot.

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