Aristotle’s Main Points in His Ethics.

Aristotle was an ancient Greek philosopher and scientist.  Aristotle produced many individual works, one in particular of great significance, was his Ethics.  He called this the Nicomachean Ethics, because his father and his son both had the name Nicomachus.  In his ethics, he conveys several ideas that are foundational in western civilization.

According to Aristotle, the end goal of man is to achieve happiness.  Every action an individual takes part in, is in order to achieve something that is good.  The ultimate good, is happiness.  There can be many actions leading up to this ultimate good, but that is what the individual is striving for.  What Aristotle means by happiness may be different than what the modern day person would perceive happiness as.  By happiness, Aristotle means eudaimonia, which is the feeling of fulfillment, of contentedness, and blessedness.

How does the individual find eudaimonia? Well, to have eudaimonia, you possess a feeling of fulfillment.  To feel content and fulfilled, you must know the purpose of your existence.  Humans are separated from every other creature because they possess human reason, and the ability to think rationally.  So to find eudaimonia, the individual must exercise human reason through virtuous acts, to fulfill their existence.

What are virtues? Doing good unto others, and in turn receiving good.  Virtue is found in habitually doing the right thing.  To be virtuous, one must be disciplined in participating in the act of individual virtues.  Happiness is a virtue and in time it brings pleasure and develops your potential excellence.

Happiness is its own end, other ends have further ends but happiness is an ultimate end.

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