Summary Of Chapter 7 By Aristotle Happiness

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In book I §7, Aristotle provides explanation of what happiness is. He first establishes that there are constraints on what can be considered as happiness. He agrees that it is the common belief that happiness is the highest form of good; therefore, happiness has to be “the end of action” and self-sufficient. (1097b) While virtues like honour and reason are being chosen for themselves, they are not final, because in pursuing these virtues, people are essentially trying to be happy. In pursuing happiness, however, people do not desire anything else but happiness itself. Happiness would be, therefore, more desirable than anything else. Aristotle also defines self-sufficiency as lacking in nothing both in one’s life and in a political setting, for “a man is born for citizenship.” (1097.b12) To simply call happiness the most final good, however, is a platitude, because it offers no clear explanation about what happiness is. Aristotle then investigates the concept of happiness further by introducing the idea of the function of man, as the good is thought to be residing in the function. For example, a sculptor’s function is to sculpt, and a lyre-play’s function is to play lyre. Thus, a sculptor can only be considered good if he is good at sculpting; a good lyre-player must play the lyre well (1098.a11-13). He argues that if there is function…show more content…
He claims that virtues like honour and reason are not final, and the pursuit of these virtues are in fact the pursuit of happiness, yet in the end, he concludes that living virtuously leads to happiness. It is as if he was saying that “the most final form of virtues is living virtuously”. Also, if happiness is the ultimate goal, how can we feel happy when we achieve goals that are not happiness? I cannot seem to make sense of the relationship between the evidences he has provided and the conclusions he has drawn, as his logic seems a little circular to

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