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POL200E1 - Student Anum Khan Date Tuesday June 8th 2010 TA...

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Student: Anum Khan Date: Tuesday June 8 th , 2010 TA: Serdar Tekin Course: POL 200 How Aristotle answers the Socratic question – ‘how ought one to live’ – in Books I & II of the Nicomachean Ethics The possible technique of how to live a good life is something that one can acquire over a lifetime, and it can be explained in many different ways from various different perspectives. In my essay I will discuss how Aristotle answered the Socratic question, ‘how ought one to live’, in books one and two of his Nicomachean Ethics. He analyzed and tested every assumption that he presumed until he felt confident that he had acquired a clear and correct technique of how a human being ought to live. He answered this Socratic question by explaining that one must obtain various attributes throughout life such as teaching and learning virtues, doing good actions, becoming temperate overtime, and not taking extreme measures but instead staying intermediate during most of life’s courses. To embark on this statement further, I will first go into detail about Aristotle’s definition of the importance of being and doing good during life. Next I will explain his outlook on how to acquire meaningful virtues that lead to right actions as opposed to wrong ones. Thirdly I will further elaborate on his answer to how one ought to live life by explaining his opinion about how important it is to be intermediate at the right times and abstain from taking rash measures.
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Aristotle begins to embark on this Socratic question by explaining the importance of being and doing good things in life. He interprets good as something that is inherited only at the end of a certain action. To have an understanding of what is meant by good itself is what he believed determines the greatest way of life. Aristotle explained that if we are aware of what the good is, then we are likely to arrive at the correct mark, or do the correct action. He followed this by explaining that we must grasp the definition of what the good is, while at the same time acquiring its inner science and role. His attempt was to explain the good and elaborate on the fact that it is extremely important to learn good ways of life and do deeds of the same nature by oneself so that one can be confident and truly good. Aristotle explained that the good is not a trait or a thing that is common amongst the world, or is universal, instead he believed that good is something that grows out of ones personal soul. 1 According to him, the best good is happiness itself, which is a good that everyone can generally agree upon. This is something he presumed was extremely important to have in order to go about living life, in response to the Socratic question that we are attempting to answer. Since good is the main goal to achieve, Aristotle explained that a person must be happy and stable constantly throughout his lifetime while keeping the same characteristics that follow from virtue. This person
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