Aristotle's Virtue

Aristotle's Virtue - Carly Weil PHIL 213 Ethics Prof Jacobs...

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Carly Weil PHIL 213: Ethics Prof. Jacobs Aristotle’s Virtue Aristotle begins his lecture in Nicomachean Ethics with a discussion of happiness. Aristotle states that the rational human is a teleological being; he or she is end-oriented. He goes on further to say that there is an overall end to human activity, and that is happiness. As an end, it is both complete and self-sufficient. Happiness is a complete end because, whereas all other ends can also be means, happiness is an end to itself. Happiness is a self-sufficient end because if one has happiness, he or she does not need anything more, as everything needed is contained in happiness. The rational human therefore wants, above all else, to be happy. Aristotle describes three areas from which happiness can be obtained: external goods, such as material means and interpersonal relationships; goods of the body, such as health and beauty; and goods of the soul, meaning “virtuous activity”. It is this virtuous activity that Aristotle believes to hold the key to obtaining the largest amount of happiness. Aristotle’s idea of being virtuous is doing what one is meant to do, in the best way possible.
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course PHIL 213 taught by Professor Jacobs during the Spring '08 term at Colgate.

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Aristotle's Virtue - Carly Weil PHIL 213 Ethics Prof Jacobs...

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