Aristotle Final Good

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In The Nicomachean Ethics, Book I, section VII, Aristotle argues that happiness is a final good that is self-sufficient. In order to achieve happiness, one must act in accordance to virtue. Aristotle questions what the final good of an action is. In order to answer the question, he provides a definition of a final good. Aristotle claims that the final good is that which is pursued for the sake of itself and nothing else (1097a 36). When debating what the good is for honour, pleasure, wealth, and education, Aristotle realizes that the good achieved in each case is different. However, they all have in common a ‘final good’ which Aristotle suggests is happiness. He proves that honour and pleasure, for instance, are pursued for the sake of themselves…show more content…
The phrase is too general to understand and he decides to find a clearer definition of happiness. To say that happiness in the final good is ambiguous. One does not understand what happiness consists of and as a result, Aristotle decides to investigate the meaning of happiness in further depth. In order to define happiness, Aristotle suggests that the good of a man is in his function (1097b 25). For instance, the good of a sculptor or a flute-player lies in their function (1097b 25). Consequently, one must find out the function of a man to determine what his good is. Aristotle states that the function of a man must be something that is unique to only men, as it cannot be something that is possessed by plants and animals such as life or life of perception (1097b 33-35). Ultimately, Aristotle concludes that the rational part of a man’s soul is what makes a human different from other species. He states that through the rational part of one’s soul, one behaves with reason. Therefore, the first part of a man’s function is to exercise reason which is an activity of the soul (1098a 8). The second part of a man’s function, according to Aristotle, is acting in accordance to virtue (1098a 15). He suggests that a good lyre player’s function is to play the lyre well, similarly, a good human’s function is to be virtuous
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