What exactly is happiness? According to Aristotle, a well-known philosopher, happiness is the end of political science. Some people believe that it is achieved through wealth, honor, pleasure, or even virtue. Aristotle doesn't believe that just one of these elements itself has the power to lead to happiness. He argues that wealth cannot constitute it because it is simply a monetary value that can be used only to gain it. He then says that honor cannot make people truly happy because it focuses more on the people that are honoring them. Happiness is not directly experienced through pleasure. As far as virtue, it is not happiness because a person may be virtuous and not apply it to their life. Therefore, Aristotle came to the conclusion that happiness is a combination of all four elements (wealth, honor, pleasure, virtue). He says, "The happy person is one who expresses complete virtue in his activities, with an adequate supply of external goods, not just for any time but for a complete life." To experience happiness is to express and make use of each of these qualities.
Since happiness is the ultimate end of man's life, it is considered the greatest good. All human beings desire pure and complete happiness. One way it can be achieved is through virtues. According to the Meriam Webster dictionary, a virtue is conformity to a standard of right. Aristotle says that virtues can be divided into two categories, intellectual and moral. Intellectual virtues are formed through teaching and instruction; where as moral virtues are created through habit. In all things, virtue represents a ground between too much (courage) and too little (cowardice). It is, in all things, that which seeks the mean. A virtuous person will react moderately to both pleasure and pain. It's hard for one to be virtuous because there is so many ways of doing something wrong and not near as many ways to do it correctly.