oldschool CxC

Thursday, April 07, 2005

. . .
To discover the nature of human happiness it is necessary to determine what the function of a human being is, for a person's happiness will consist in fulfilling the natural function toward which his being is directed. This natural function must be something which is specific to human beings, which is essential to being human. A person is primarily his intellect. While the spirited and desiring parts of the soul are also important, the rational part of the soul is what one can most properly consider a person's identity. The activity which only human beings can perform is intellectual; it is activity of the highest part of the soul (the rational part) according to reason. Human happiness, therefore, consists in activity of the soul according to reason. In practical terms, this activity is expressed through ethical virtue, when a person directs his actions according to reason. The very highest human life, however, consists in contemplation of the greatest goods. More will be said later on this topic, which is the culmination of the Ethics.

Ethical virtue "is a habit disposed toward action by deliberate choice, being at the mean relative to us, and defined by reason as a prudent man would define it." Each of the elements of this definition is important. Virtue is not simply an isolated action but a habit of acting well. For an action to be virtuous a person must do it deliberately, knowing what he is doing, and doing it because it is a noble action. In each specific situation, the virtuous action is a mean between two extremes. Finally, prudence is necessary for ethical virtue because it is the intellectual virtue by which a person is able to determine the mean specific to each situation.
. . .

Man's highest action and most complete happiness is a life of contemplation of the highest goods. Man's intellectual capacity is his highest capacity, and therefore his highest happiness resides in the use of that capacity. The life of contemplation is so sublime that it is practically divine, and man can achieve it only insofar as there is something divine in him. Contemplation is the action which best fulfills all the qualifications that the ultimate good should have, because it is the most continuous, complete and self-sufficient of all actions.

or does introspection falsify everything?

9. Friendship

. . . Neither old people nor sour people seem to make friends easily; for there is little that is pleasant in them, and no one can spend his days with one whose company is painful, or not pleasant, since nature seems above all to avoid the painful and to aim at the pleasant. . .


Blogger A. said...

damn thats harsh, there is little pleasant in old people.... It is true for sour people though.

12:32 PM  
Blogger Erik said...

Everything I know about Happiness I learned from The Sims. You gotta have food and friends, rest and recreation, comfort and comfy surroundings. And wash your hands after you pee.

Plus it teaches you some tactics for getting there -- two things I have yet to put into practice but should: hire a maid, and put a jacuzzi inside your house.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Sony said...

Slartiblafast: Everyone wants answers; me, I'd rather be happy than right,

Arthur Dent: Oh? Does that work?

Slartiblafast: mmm, no. That's where it all falls apart.

1:45 PM  
Blogger A. said...

how you think that movie gonna turn out?

12:22 PM  

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