Greek Philosophy Essay

Pages: 3 (1042 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Business - Ethics

Greek Philosophy: The Good Life

Today, the idea of the "good" may be applied to various components in life. Generally, the concept is accepted to refer to either something moral or pleasing. A good meal, for example, is pleasing to the senses. A good person is considered to be morally sound. When considering the idea of good, however, few would go very deeply into the idea of what exactly this constitutes. Most people assume that they have a relatively common concept of what "good" means. One might, however, reasonably question this assumption, especially in a world that has become increasingly integrated and accessible in terms of culture and communication. Indeed, more than ever before, it has become clear that concepts like "good" are flexible, depending upon cultural, ethnic, and other non-uniform values. For this reason, Aristotle's philosophy of "the good life" is worth examining for the possible value it can bring to what we consider to be a good life in today's world.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Essay on Greek Philosophy Assignment

In Book I of Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle devotes a large amount of time to determine the nature of a good life. He begins by discarding common concepts of the good life that cannot be applied exclusively to human beings as well as those that do not stand up to closer scrutiny and the application of "good." Aristotle considers happiness as a possible synonym for a "good" life. The state of happiness, however, fluctuates on a daily basis, depending on external conditions. For his reason, happiness cannot be the same as good, since being devastated by misfortune does not make a person bad. The philosopher, however, does connect happiness to activities that can be controlled, such as "noble acts." In terms of this connection, Aristotle argues that animals cannot be said to be happy or "good," since they have no concept of what it means to be noble. In this way, Aristotle provides a bridge towards his concept of connecting virtuous acts with the "good" in life. Aristotle's main argument is therefore that a person who engages consistently in "virtuous activities," because the happiness connected to these is far more permanent than what happiness can be brought about by material gain or stability. The "good life," therefore, is one that is filled with virtue.

I agree with Aristotle on his point, in that engaging in what we consider to be virtuous activities will bring about happiness. People who are seen living a life in this way are also considered to be good. Aristotle does acknowledge, however, that the concept of "virtue" cannot remain undefined. The same is true today. Before we can claim anyone to be "good" or "ethical," one must first define what is meant by this concept. In today's terms, I believe that a "good" action is any activity that focuses on creating something better for another person, an animal, or the environment. To be truly good, such activities must be unconnected to any expectation of personal gain. This, today, is what can be regarded as "good" in terms of virtue or ethics. In Book II of Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle defines virtue as a "mean" between the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/greek-philosophy/2400289.