Monday, April 20, 2015
Final Blog Post (1-3)
Aristotle on Happiness
Aristotle tries to discover what is the ‘supreme good for man’, that is, what is the best way to lead our life and to give it meaning. For Aristotle, a thing is best understood by looking at its end, purpose, or goal. If one does this for some time, it soon becomes clear that some goals are subordinate to other goals, which are themselves subordinate to yet other goals. This could go on and on, but unless a person has a goal that is an end-in-itself, nothing that that person does is actually worth doing. What is this goal that is an end-in-itself? The Supreme Good is happiness. Aristotle believed that in order to be truly happy, one would require a long life full of experience. That is why he believed children could not have true happiness, because they were just beginning their lives and were too young and did not have enough experience and wisdom to truly understand what happiness was. But what is happiness? For Aristotle, is by understanding the "distinctive function of a thing that one can understand its essence. Aristotle believed that humans distinctive function is their unique ability to reason. Thus the Supreme Good, or Happiness, is to lead a life that enables us to use and to develop our reason, and that is in accordance with rational principles."
The Answer should be “No.”
Aristotle says true happiness comes from gaining insight and growing into your best possible self. Otherwise all you are having is immediate gratification pleasure – which is fleeting and does not grow you as a person.
“We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts not breaths; in feelings, not in figures on a dial. We should count time by heartthrobs. He most lives who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.”-Aristotle