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Philosophy Assignment - Nicomachean Ethics

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Szymon Torba

March 18, 2015

Philosophy Assignment

In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle discusses happiness to be the 'ultimate goal' for living a ‘virtuous life’. From this main concept, he came up with two types of good: instrumental good, something considered as a means to some other good and intrinsic good, something worthwhile not because it leads to something else. An individual, whom believes in the ‘ultimate goal’ has to come to the realization that whatever one does, how one chooses to live, is all done in order to satisfy one’s happiness. In order to achieve happiness and live a good life, one has to live a virtuous life, living life with a purpose and for the pursuit of happiness. Aristotle discuss three different types of life in which he believes to be virtuous living; political, pleasurable and contemplative. Aristotle believes the third type, contemplative, wisdom, is the most important from the group. Today this paper will inform you why Aristotle’s third type is the primary and best way of living.

Aristotle uses the fundamental image of God, individuals are the ideal image of God. Therefore, Gods portray the life as contemplation, thus, individuals replicated contemplative living. "The activity of God, which surpasses all others in blessedness, must be contemplative; and of human activities, therefore, that which is most akin to this must be most of the nature of happiness" (Aristotle, pp. 48). Aristotle elaborates God is all mighty therefore superior to all individuals, God is a contemplative ideal, resulting in happiness. Those whom are believers acknowledge as the almighty and to be the happiest being, a contemplative life is the best.

Contemplation is known as wisdom, philosophy teaches wisdom is the source of reasoning. one whom is capable and able to live a life of contemplation is able to reason their pathways through life, body and soul is the importance with little if any external goods. "External goods are things like wealth, property and family that are in an obvious sense external to oneself" (Jackman 2006 (1)). Possessions do not make one’s life more meaningful, it does not matter if one does not have equipment to better their life, they are not essential. One who lives a contemplative life will be able to reason without external goods, unlike the other two types Aristotle discusses. "It is ... not easy, to do noble acts without the proper equipment ..." (Aristotle, pp. 39). In the political life there is a need for external goods, equipment, it is essential in one’s life. In order to participate in noble acts, one is required to possess a certain level of equipment. One whom has a political life, entails they have acquired respect and honor, they need to participate in noble acts.For those individuals living a contemplative life it is clear to witness they do no need nor require external goods.

Happiness is the key focus, life is only meaningful if one achieves happiness. Aristotle believes one is capable to live a contemplative life with optimal happiness, progression across in steps. The first initial step is to discover and figure out the function of a man, in order to discover the ultimate happiness, a man most first discover his capabilities.

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