You will prepare and submit a term paper on Aristotles Ethics and Thoughts Concerning Happiness. Your paper should be a minimum of 1250 words in length. The science of happiness was the idea that he introduced as a new field of knowledge.
The theory of happiness was developed in the Nicomachean Ethics which was Aristotle’s most famous and influential work. His theory of happiness is highly relevant even today, more than 2000 years later. Aristotle’s theory starts with his belief that the ultimate purpose of human existence and the end goal of life. He believes that major values in life are seeking pleasure, a good reputation, and gaining wealth but the chief value towards which humanity should be aimed is happiness. Happiness is the end goal which tends to meet all the other values (Natali 165).
An individual, according to Aristotle, achieves the values of pleasure, money and honour only because he believes that they will make him happy. All these values are directed towards happiness but happiness is not a feeling, it is an activity. The most important value of achieving happiness is to have a high moral character. This is called complete virtue under which the humans act according to the virtues but not just a few, but all of them. Aristotle developed the theory that in order to gain happiness, one must strive to gain all the virtues in totality only then will happiness be achieved (Sherman 36).
Aristotle writes that the individual who is happy is the one who lives in accordance to complete virtue for the complete life not just for a temporary period. Happiness would be experienced when an individual achieves all the values in his entire lifetime-wealth, knowledge, health, pleasure, friends, etc. These values lead to the perfect human nature that enriches human life and improves quality. Achieving these virtues will also require individuals to make difficult choices as the values that are lesser good include immediate pleasure whereas the values with greater good include pain and sacrifice. However, a person can achieve good morale and eventually complete .happiness when he chooses to do the right thing and implements strong efforts in the most difficult situations as well (May 8).