Credits for one of history’s seminal works in the field of Ethics goes to Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. Needless to say, all human beings want to lead a ‘good life’ and be ‘happy’. Aristotle addresses this fundamental quest of human existence by postulating what really is the ultimate good of human life. Nicomachean Ethics is an investigation to figure out the ultimate goal of human life.
Aristotle argues that ethics as a discipline has more to do with application than mere theory. He dives deep into the reservoir of his mind and inquires about ‘what is the ultimate good of human life’ not just to reach a definite conclusion and attain knowledge on the subject. He does so believing that the possession of a complete in-depth understanding…show more content… The answer he is looking for contains a tinge of controversy for it deals with the dilemma of which goods are more desirable than others. His journey to the center of this dilemma leads him to realize that the good he is searching for is the ultimate good. This ultimate good, whatever it may be, has three pivotal characteristics that distinguish it from other goods: First of all, it is desirable for itself. Secondly, it is not desirable for the sake of other goods and finally, all other goods are desirable in order to attain this ultimate…show more content… Only the human species is gifted with this higher soul, so to say, besides the lower capacities.
The ‘ultimate good’ or ‘eudaimonia’ is a concept that applies to human beings. Therefore, Aristotle argues that it must have some correlation with the fact of being human. What essentially separates humanity from other beings is our intellect; our mental faculties; and our ability to use reason. Aristotle draws us to the assertion that we, as humans, would flourish if we utilize reason to the best of our abilities. In other words, accomplishing or carrying out any rational activity requires the expertise of virtue and excellence, and it is only when this criteria is followed that we say one has attained eudaimonia.
Lastly, Aristotle came to the conclusion that a successful life is one engaged in intellectual pursuits. He believed that intellectual pursuits were of unparalleled satisfaction and terribly pleasurable. One must note that Aristotle did not endorse the idea that happiness consists in intellectual pursuits but vice-versa; intellectual pursuits are the flourishing of human beings. Einstein may not have been a happy individual but he definitely made a success of his life: he flourished and attained