Aristotle The Good Life Essay

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Recent research shows that people who have children are not necessarily happier than people who don’t have children.And he agrees with Epicurus that a happy life will involve many and varied pleasurable experiences.We can’t really say someone is living the good life if they are often miserable or constantly suffering.If at the end of your life you can check all these boxes then you could reasonably claim to have lived well, to have achieved the good life.Of course, the great majority of people today do not belong to the leisure class as Aristotle did. But it’s still true that we think the ideal circumstance is to be doing for a living what you would choose to do anyway.These people may have plenty of pleasurable subjective experiences.But should we really describe them as “living well”? He agrees with Socrates that to live the good life one must be a morally good person.Imagine a powerful sadist who spends much of his time gratifying cruel desires.Or imagine a pot-smoking, beer-guzzling couch potato who does nothing but sit around all day watching old TV shows and playing video games. There must be some end which is wanted for its own sake, and for the sake of which we want all the other ends (if we do not choose everything for the sake of something else — which involves an infinite regress). This is the the most authoritative and directive science.It makes use of the other sciences and its end, the human good, includes their ends.

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