The good life

Essay by nonie1126College, Undergraduate June 2014

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"The Good Life"

By: Lauryn Dossett

When we think of happiness we often conceive it as a subjective state of mind. It's our nature to desire happiness and a good life. We are finite beings, which obliviously makes this quest for the good life imperative. The values that tend to lead to a good life are like generalized headlines, not giving us a clear clue about what we should aim for in our life, therefore it's important to translate general principles into specific understanding and action in certain situations. To develop all human capacities to the fullest, we have to prioritize and make choices through reason. Aristotle presents the theory of happiness in one of his most influential works, the Nicomachean Ethics, which is still relevant today. According to Aristotle, "the good life" that we aspire to achieve is through the harmonious balance of basic goods, success and recognition, pleasure and enjoyment, love and friendship, and learning/understanding by choosing wisely and developing the virtues of character.

In this paper I will analyze a few of the main components considered by Aristotle and defend his recipe for a good life.

The goods in which we find ourselves desiring can be a key factor to living the good life but we must use them in the right way to live well. Aristotle says, "Yet evidently, as we said, it needs the external goods as well; for it is impossible, or not easy, to do noble acts without the proper equipment."(NE l.8). He talks about different types of goods which plays a role in human happiness such as, external goods (wealth, fame, honor, power), and goods of the body (life, health, good looks, physical strength, athletic ability). Aristotle's view is that certain goods such as, life and health are necessary...