The problem then becomes the question of how to achieve happiness

The problem then becomes the question of how to achieve happiness

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The problem then becomes the question of how to achieve happiness. Pleasure is  undeniably the motivation behind many actions, but it puts humans on the level of  animals. Honor is another possibility, but it places too much emphasis on the praise of  others. Aristotle concludes that the means of happiness–and hence the purpose of  human existence–is virtue. Virtue involves habit and choice. By making the proper  decisions, we eventually develop a virtuous habit or disposition, so that we need not run  through the catalogue of options every time a moral dilemma presents itself. Rather, we  act according to our disposition, which has been cultivated by past choices. The  question then arises: how do we make the right choices? For Aristotle, the virtuous  choice was the mean between two extremes: excess and defect. For example, between  profligacy and insensibility there lies self-discipline; between obsequiousness and 
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This note was uploaded on 12/12/2011 for the course HIST 1320 taught by Professor Murphy during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.

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