- Published: February 4, 2022
- Updated: February 4, 2022
- Language: English
- Downloads: 48
Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics Book 1, is about man reaching happiness through virtue. He contemplates what is good and in each section of the reading from what I could understand, he offered his views of human needs, actions, and choices of how best man can live life. Each action has an end which I believe to mean the ultimate good a person is aiming for, but it is different depending on the activity of the person. With each action there is an end, regardless of if the action is an end itself. He gave the example of health being the end of medical art. It is the ultimate goal of why a person chooses the medical field as an occupation. Within each field there are different capacities, so one starts something with a goal in mind.
Happiness comes in many forms; honor, knowledge, wealth, or pleasure. Aristotle’s idea of the word good is to satisfy a need and begins a continuation to reach further needs until one grasps the point where the end is satisfied. This is the highest good he speaks of. Happiness is considered an end and the highest good that man can achieve. The kind of happiness desired is dependent on the individual needs of man. Some find it in wealth, knowledge, pleasure, or honor.
It is how one involves themselves in these actions that they will find understanding of how to live their best life. I learned of five virtues in this reading: happiness (individual), wisdom, bravery, control of oneself and justice. Because man is so complex we display these virtues differently and at different times, but in a way that is appropriate. Aristotle makes note of the difference between moral and intellectual virtues and from them, one’s soul is formed. Intellectual means understanding while moral is what controls reason.
When both virtues are harmonious, positive outcomes toward a good life are attainable. One quote I agree with is “ Now many events happen by chance, and events differing in importance, small pieces of good fortune or of its opposite clearly do not weigh down the scales of life one way or another, but a multitude of great events if they turn out well will make life happier.” (“ The Internet Classics Archive/Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle”) I think this is a testament to how every person in this world is seeking happiness in whatever capacity they can. Sometimes people are born into misfortune and have a tough time getting out of their situation, but if happiness is the ultimate goal and good things begin happening in their lives, it can change everything from a negative to a positive. A multitude of great events could be anything. Personally, great events for me would be graduating college with my masters, getting a great job and making great money, getting married and having a family. That is where I believe my ultimate happiness lies.
The great thing about life is our differences and our contrast with one another. My ends are different from my peers’ ends and established individually. The quote I disagree with is “…for the man who is very ugly in appearance or ill born, or solitary and childless is not very likely to be happy…” (“ The Internet Classics Archive/Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle”) People who do not live up to society standards and called ugly because of skin color, body type, birth defect, etc, but those factors should not hold anyone back from actually living very happy lives. What may seem unappealing to some does not mean it is the same opinion of the majority. I think of the colorism issues that are prevalent right now. There is a woman named Amara La Negra who is an Afro-Latina. She does not fit the mold of what most would think of “ Latina” because of her dark skin.
She is a performer but has a hard time trying to break into the music industry because of the way she looks. I bring her up because even though she suffers through constant ridicule she stands strong in who she is. She loves her skin, she loves her afro, she loves her large eyes.
She is absolutely beautiful even though the world sees her as ugly. If one thinks they are ugly and people can sense that, they will prey on you. But when you walk in confidence no one can take that from you. I also disagree with a person being unhappy because they are childless.
I know many women who decided not to have children who are living great lives. It is ultimately the choice of the person to be childless. If a woman is unable to have a child naturally there is surrogacy or adoption if that is what they chose. The end goal as Aristotle has told us is happiness. In whatever capacity a person chooses is their individual choice.
In conclusion, happiness is the highest good, and virtue is what is a part of our souls. We are human beings who are all striving for the end goal. Our actions and choices are aimed for good and it is important that we remain grounded to our morals and virtues. It is there you find the true happiness of man that all deserve to have what their hearts desire.