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Aristotle and Purpose

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Mark Johnstone

Aristotle Happiness and the Human Good Happiness An objective condition of doing well in life or flourishing not only a matter of feeling a certain way You can be mistaken as to whether your life is going well on the whole Only human beings and higher beings ex Gods can be happyIs doing well subjective or objective Objective for Aristotle If you are doing well as a human being you are realizing your potential as a human being and this is objectiveHuman beings are distinctive because of capacity to reason Being good at figuring out what I should do Ie in moral question scenarios and this goes into what makes a happy human being Virtues understood in terms of practical reasoning at least in partVirtueExcellence In general something can be said to possess virtue if it is an excellent example of its kind one wellsuited to its work or purpose In the context of the N Ethics virtuous things are excellent states or conditions of the soul Goods and EndsGoodness is terms of ends Since there are many different actions crafts and sciences there will be many different ends Aristotle not assuming there is a single thing called The Good that everything aims at but rather many different ends There are two kinds of ends Products activity aims to produce end end separate from activity and Activities ex dancing can have an end but also has an end in itself because it is enjoyable in and of itself Happiness is an activity end so the aim of life is to live well to live to thrive to flourish Not some product that stands apart from those activities
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