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Virtual Child Essay

869 words - 4 pages

Ancient Greek Philosophy
Fall 2010

Thesis 4
Happiness is formally defined as the complete and sufficient good for a human being. This implies that it is desired for itself, not desired for the sake of anything else, satisfies all desire and has no evil mixed in with it. Yet, there are many different views of what sorts of life satisfy this formal definition. Aristotle specifically mentions the life of gratification, the life of money-making, the life of action, and the philosophical life, moreover, the life of contemplation or study. Although he has no patience for a life that is solely based on one’s materialistic possessions, he believes that it is morally proper for humans to seek ...view middle of the document...

  Aristotle believes that our proper function consists in reasoning and in acting in accord with reason. This is the heart of the doctrine of virtue, both moral and intellectual. So on this line of reasoning we are led to the conclusion that the possession and exercise of moral and intellectual virtue is the essential element in our living well.
A second approach is to survey the goods which we find ourselves desiring, since happiness presumably consists in the attainment of some good or set of goods such that to have them in the right way is to be living well. One division of goods is into external goods which include wealth, power and fame; the goods of the body include health, good physical strength, athletic ability, and dexterity while the goods of the soul include virtue, life-projects, knowledge and education, artistic creativity and appreciation, recreation, friendship, etc. The problem then is to delineate the ways in which such goods are related to happiness. Aristotle states, “Happiness needs external goods as well; for it is impossible, or not easy, to do noble acts without the proper equipment.  In many actions we use friends and riches and political power as instruments; and there are some things that lack of which takes the luster from happiness, as good birth, goodly children, and beauty” (Nicomachean Ethics, Part 8, Line 26). Here, he is distinguishing between having a good life and leading a good life and he maintains that a person who is lacking in material goods cannot be happy. It is in having these certain goods that we are able to achieve happiness and lead a good...

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