What is Happiness?
What is Happiness? Happiness is but a belief, an idea, a theory; but theories, beliefs, and ideas have the possibility of being wrong. According to Aristotle happiness is an end, an end result of all the things a person does. Everything everyone does is for a reason, to achieve something else. Aristotle believes that the "something else is happiness. What is happiness then, what constitutes Happiness? A happy man, Aristotle would say, is the man who has everything he really needs. He has those things which he needs to realize his potentials. In realizing his potentials he achieves happiness. That is why Aristotle says that the happy man wants nothing.
Happiness is desirable in itself and never for the sake of something else. But honor, pleasure, reason, and every virtue we choose indeed for themselves, but we choose them also for the sake of happiness, judging that by means of them we shall be happy. Happiness, on the other hand, no one chooses for the sake of these, or, in general, for anything other than itself. Happiness then is something final and self sufficient. This leads Aristotle to his definition of the happy life as a life made perfect by the possession of all good things such as wealth, friendship, knowledge, virtue “ all these are constituent parts of happiness. And Happiness is the whole good of which they are component parts. That is how happiness is related to all other goods. This can be tested in a very simple way. Suppose someone asked you why you wanted to be healthy. You would answer by saying: because being healthy would enable you to do the kind of work you wanted to do. But then suppose they asked you why you wanted to do this kind of work? Or why you wanted to acquire some wealth? Or why you wanted to learn things? To all such questions your ultimate answer would be: because you wanted to become happy. But if you were then asked why you wanted to become happy, your only answer would be: because you