This puts aquinas midway between those like aristotle, who believed complete happiness was possible in this lifetime, and another christian thinker, st augustine, who taught that happiness was impossible and that our main pleasure consists merely in the anticipation of the heavenly afterlife. In aristotle's works, eudaimonia (based on older greek tradition) was used as the term for the highest human good, and so it is the aim of practical philosophy, including ethics and political philosophy, to consider (and also experience) what it really is, and how it can be achieved. In saying that happiness is an energeia, aristotle contrasts happiness with virtue, which he considers a hexis, or state of being possessing all the right virtues disposes a person to live well, while happiness is the activity of living well, which the virtuous person is inclined toward. Mill's utilitarianism and virtue by paul jones a moral theory is a theory which posits that something is valuable, pleasure, virtue, duty, or self-interest, for example any new moral treatise which seeks to persuade must respond to other preexisting ethical frameworks.
Aristotle states that happiness isn't physical pleasure, but harmonizing the mind with virtue what feels the best for the most is virtue the intellectual and emotional parts of the mind create intellectual and moral types of virtue. Aristotle was the first to classify areas of human knowledge into distinct disciplines such as mathematics, biology, and ethics some of these classifications are still used today as the father of the field of logic, he was the first to develop a formalized system for reasoning. This for aristotle was the highest form of human activity it was the ultimate intellectual virtue: a life of unbroken contemplation being something divine this image can bring to mind pictures of holy men and women reflecting on some eternal truth or of people meditating the whole thing has a slightly unworldly feel.
The fact that aristotle held a conception of highest good further underscores normative dimension of his arguments on morality, and indicates once again the distance between him and hobbes in terms of the way they approach human behaviors and morality. Θεωρία, contemplation itself, is defined with reference to in book x, where contemplation is made the basis of the highest human happiness as the excellent activity of intellect (νου̑ς) by which beautiful and divine realities are apprehended (x7, 1177a15-18 and following. Highest form of happiness because it is the action of the gods aristotle's function argument 1 whatever is the chief good of humans enables them to function well. For aristotle, in fact, contemplation is the highest happiness he takes theoretical wisdom as the virtue of the intellectual part of the soul, the part that knows for the sake of knowledge. The fundamental difference between the two men is that aristotle argued that if the ends were considered, found to be totally unjust, and no other alternative was present, the action would still.
The highest aims are living well and eudaimonia a greek word often translated as well-being, happiness or human flourishing like many ethicists, aristotle regards excellent activity as pleasurable for the man of virtue. Aristotle's political philosophy and ethics are inextricably welded together, although they are expounded in separate treatises, primarily the politics and nichomachean ethics the polis (state or city-state) is the perfect or complete form of human association, since only the state can provide all the requisites for human happiness. Aristotle's 'function' argument aristotle does not use the 'artefact' analogy he uses two other analogies: analogy between function of parts (eye, hand, foot) and function of whole analogy with social roles (carpenters, shoemakers. Aristotle argues, in fact, that happiness is activity of the rational soul in accordance with virtue human beings must have a function, because particular types of humans (eg, sculptors) do, as do the parts and organs of individual human beings. Recalling our discussion of aristotle's views in the physics and on the soul, the function of human beings will be specified in terms of the characteristic activity towards which our natural.
In nicomachean ethics 17, aristotle claims that to discover the human good we must identify the function of a human being he argues that the human function is rational activity he argues that the human function is rational activity. Concept of happiness in his introduction to the attainment of happiness, mahdi states that alfarabi's main argument is the relationship between philosophy and religion (6. Human flourishing is the reward of the virtues and values and happiness is the goal and reward of human flourishing self-direction (ie, autonomy) involves the use of one's reason and is central and necessary for the possibility of attaining human flourishing, self-esteem, and happiness. In book x, aristotle ultimately concludes that contemplation is the highest human activity this is largely a consequence of his teleological view of nature, according to which the telos, or goal, of human life is the exercise of our rational powers. Aristotle teaches, that is order to achieve his definition of happiness, one must perform at their highest function of reasoning while utilizing their highest virtues the path specifically consist of achieving right understanding, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right.
In nicomachean ethics: book i, aristotle defines happiness as the activity of living well, which in the greek word is called eudaimonia he tends to think that happiness is how we balance and moderate our lives to seek the highest pleasures, which he calls maintaining the mean. Aristotle on pleasure abstract: aristotle's ethics is reviewed and his distinction between pleasure and happiness is explained a summary of aristotle's ethics clarifies several important distinction between happiness and pleasure. Theory of human nature - the tripartite structure of the soul - [having encountered the social self of confucianism, the divine self of hinduism, and the no-self of buddhism, we come to dualism] plato is a dualist there is both immaterial mind (soul) and material body, and it is the soul that knows the forms. According to aristotle, pleasure is not the aim of every human action, because not every pleasure is good (remember, the highest good is intrinsically good) pleasure is found in various forms of activity, and a proper pleasure or pain may belong to any activity.
Human happiness does not consist in every kind of pleasure, but it does consist in one kind of pleasure—the pleasure felt by a human being who engages in theoretical activity and thereby imitates the pleasurable thinking of god.