Aristotle begins Book Alpha with the statement, “Every art and every inquiry, and likewise every action and choice, seems to aim at some good, and hence it has been beautifully said that the good is that at which all things aim.” This statement claims that the reason any person or animal performs any action is for some good. This good is “that for the sake of which” anything is done, and is referred to as the generic good. The good being generic because any creature, man or animal, can achieve this good. The good can also be understood as the end result of an action. The end result of all actions is happiness. The aim of any action is to achieve some sort of happiness. No matter how thoughtful or mindless, the ultimate goal is happiness. Happiness is the highest good because we choose happiness as an end sufficient in itself. Even intelligence and virtue are not only good in themselves, but good because they make us happy. Although happiness is indeed the highest good, there are varying degrees of
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This document was uploaded on 10/25/2011 for the course PHL 101 at DePaul.