3 February 2015
Response to Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle
In this piece by Aristotle, he begins by saying that every single act a human does aims some ‘good’ outcome. This ‘good’ can be considered to be a little arbitrary because it can either be the end goal, or the means to an end. Aristotle reasoned that we, as humans, cannot approach situations in the exact same way. He understood that mathematics and sciences could be approached to a precise end, while other things like ethics and politics could not be reached to such an end. He understood that life experiences played a very big part in how people came to ethical conclusions.
Aristotle then stated that happiness is the ‘chief’ good at which all actions aim. I think that Aristotle defined happiness as finding a balance in life, and living well. He realized that that a balance between living a life of pleasure and living a life of pursuit must be attained to truly reach the ultimate goal of happiness. Too much pleasure or pursuit could not create enough of a balance for a person to be happy. Aristotle believed that happiness was the ultimate goal in life, making it the highest ‘good’ possible. He believed that steps along the way to achieve happiness could also be considered to be ‘good’, but the highest and best ‘good’ was to truly achieve happiness; to reach a balance where nothing else must be done to live well.
Aristotle broke happiness down into three separate entities: external, relating to the soul, and relating to the body. The actions a person makes can be placed into the ‘soul’ section,
making this the most important section according to Aristotle.