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Aristotle's Project on Determining a Good Life

Aristotle was a philosopher from Greece. As a result of his contribution to the subject of ethics, and especially his philosophy on a good life, he earned fame as a renowned philosopher. Ethics can be defined as the systematic study of the best way for individuals to live. The subject of ethics originates from Aristotle’s earliest works as a philosopher. He emphasized on the virtue of character and urged people to practice well chosen characters to adopt. Aristotle believed that   having an unimpeachable character would lead to eudemonia, which is a Greek term that means, to be   happy.  In his works, Aristotle describes a virtuous person as having excellent character and moral virtues. A great soul, justice, wisdom, a loyal friend and nobility are some of the key character traits that Aristotle praised. He believed that any person who possessed such virtuous traits were truly happy. Intellectually virtuous people chose the best and most happy lives to live. According to his teachings, man used his soul to rationalize and reason when making crucial decisions in life. He equated an individual who thinks and reasons to God. Aristotle was the earliest philosophers to study formal logic.

Aristotle’s legacy has been alive 2300 years after his death. He gained the world's recognition as one of the most significant people who ever lived. He founded formal logic among other contributions he made to the science world. He considered ethics as a practical study that helped individuals to develop into respectful people. Another significant teaching was that virtue ensures everything performs its proper function. For example, he reasoned that the eye was as potent as it could see; therefore, humans were just as suitable as they performed their functions, which in this case he believed was to reason and follow his reasoning. Good choices are as a result of ethical reasoning, which according to Aristotle, could only be achieved through a series of deliberate teachings and experience. Contrary to many philosophers at the time, Aristotle believed women deserved happiness as their male partners. He was on several occasions quoted saying that a society can only be happy if the women living there are happy.

The book links ethics to moral issues that affect the day to day life of mankind. The book uses a variety of essay questions to help students understand the relevance of ethical theory to students. In the creation story, God created man and gave him the freedom l to choose the path to follow in life. This applies to Aristotle’s theory when he argues that man must think, reason and afterwards follow his reasoning in order to achieve success and happiness. Every decision man makes in life determines the path he will take in the future. For example, a student who decides to drop out of school will most likely end up unemployed, homeless and languishing in poverty.  On the other hand, a student who decided to work hard in school eventually gets excellent grades, a good job, a decent home and possibly a secure financial plan. All these outcomes are as a result of decisions one chooses to make early in life, yet they affect everything that happens in their future. Just like in Aristotle’s teachings, a man with admirable virtues and who reasons before acting will eventually chose the best life for him, and this will make them feel satisfied and exceedingly happy.

A happy life has a different meaning to different people. A virtuous life ensures an individual is satisfied and happy. According to Aristotle, happiness comes from the decisions people make. He believed that the happiest people in the world are morally upright and virtuous, and this helped them make rational decisions in life. Consider an example of a drunk, homeless man who has no house or means of satisfying his needs and a humanitarian who takes time trying to uplift the welfare of the poor. The humanitarian is more likely to be happy as opposed to the drunk who has no hope and no guarantees of getting shelter, and so he drowns his frustrations with alcohol. In life, everyone begins at the same starting line; however, how far one goes depends on the choices they make in life. An individual   with strong moral values and is virtuous makes choices that reflect his character; on the other hand, an immoral individual will make equally immoral choices. Thus, choosing the life they will live. 

In conclusion, it is true that a man chooses his destiny through the choices he makes. It is true to state that a man can determine what a virtuous life is. However, every person has his/her own personalized ideology of what a happy life looks like. Therefore, every man determines his own   moral life’ that will satisfy him and make him extremely happy. Aristotle never gave a solid definition of what a virtuous life was, but he made sure that everyone understood that righteous life corresponded with happiness. His teachings taught the relevance of ethics which dictates the way the students lived their lives.  He believed that happiness could be achieved only through living a wholesome life that was virtuous and fulfilling. This was the most crucial lesson he taught others, and up to date, some of his philosophies still apply in school curriculums because they spoke of what was rational and true.  Thus, after a critical analysis of the book, it is justified to refer to Aristotle as the greatest philosopher in history’.

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