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Aristotle on Happiness

            Aristotle came to the conclusion that happiness is what human actions should ultimately strive for. Aristotle begins by explaining why every human action strives towards a certain good or perfection. The morally good action is the moderate action between excess and deficiency. Also, the intellectually best action would be perfection of a certain skill. Human life has to have a final aim or man is just a victim of endless desires that never reach completion.
             For Aristotle the contemplative lifestyle is the best way to live. To contemplate is to reflect on one's actions, and only in reflection and habituation can they make themselves better. Aristotle associates happiness with honor, but honor is something that an individual can only attain if others praise him. Happiness cannot be something that is merely praised by others because then, it can be easily taken away and is subject to opinion. Happiness is in the realm of things that are prized not praised. A happy man is not one of extravagant pleasures or honor before everything else. A happy man is one who is striving for a prize, a man in search of the good life. Moral virtue is one accomplished through habituation and intellectual virtue is that which is learned or experienced through schooling or craft. A morally virtuous man finds pleasure in doing good acts, and actually does them. Intellectual virtue can only allow a man to think about doing good actions or analyze the world; it does not cause him actually committing to a moral path of action. A man always in pursuit of honor would try to achieve honor at all costs in attempts to be praised, which would only lead to misery and further disappointment. The man-seeking honor is not seeking his own happiness, but rather for other people to view him as an honorable leader. This view is not only superficial, but it places the person who is seeking it in the hands of those they are trying to impress, making it very unstable and doomed to fail.

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