The Philosophy Of Happiness In Aristotle's Nicomachean Philosophy

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Philosophy lies in the basis of human thinking. We make decisions, choose a way for one to go, strive to understand the rules, which the whole universal eternity follows, acquire knowledge, including the knowledge of the human soul. Thus, when we try to understand, what will make us happy, still we seek answer in the deep philosophical thinking. Aristotle is one of the most influential philosophers of all time, his works, such as “Nicomachean Ethics”, which I will focus on today, left a great impact on the Western Philosophy in general, and in the minds of people, trying to pursue the knowledge of happiness in particular. His works are so deep, that even now, over 2000 years after the “Ethics” were written, we still can turn to them with a…show more content…
What are the conditions? What is happiness after all?” I shall start with an idea, which Aristotle himself proclaimed in his works: the real key to human happiness is to live as we should, as the nature of human being states, as said by the philosopher: “the function of man is to live a certain kind of life”, and this certain kind is a life filled with happiness, as happiness is a final goal of a human existence, the ultimate state of a human soul. So, to achieve that, man must work on it throughout all his life. One condition, under which the true happiness can be achieved, is to live ethically, so is to follow the virtue of the soul, and virtue is “the golden mean between two vices, the one of excess and the other of deficiency”. In other words, the “golden mean” is the stability and balance between two extreme states of human soul. The states themselves differ,…show more content…
In his book Aristotle develops the idea of a “Good Life”, that is a happy life, a life “equipped with external goods, not for some chance period but throughout a complete life”, thus we can only understand if we lived a truly happy life when it comes to end. But besides of the “Good Life”, there is an eternal happiness that awaits those who can achieve it. How? To strive for something greater than the borders of our mortal mind. There will be people who will oppose that opinion, but, in the words of Aristotle himself, “we must not follow those who advise us, being men, to think of human things, but must, so far as we can, make ourselves immortal, and strain every nerve to live in accordance with the best things in us”. So, there is more than just possessing virtues and reaching balance. If we take away all those mortal activities, we will be left with just one thing – observing the world, gaining the superior knowledge of its existence… we will be left with contemplating, which is the “activity of God … which must be most of the nature of happiness”. Thus, we come to the conclusion that exercising human activities and contemplating on them, cultivating the results of all your deeds makes man “the dearest to the Gods. And he who is that will presumably be also the happiest”. Thinking of oneself as a mortal human being limits us to the mortal happiness, which is the “Good

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