Action, Contemplation, and Happiness: An Essay On Aristotle Published:
To this purpose, Aristotle postulates that an individual who has lived such a life — a Eudaimon — is one who has successfully sought out the greatest good, also referred to as Summum Bonum SB. Here, the SB cannot be inferior to any other good. That is, the SB must be — in itself — complete and wholly self-sufficient.
A candidate for the SB cannot, thus, be instrumental towards any other good. Here, Pleasure can be defined as a nett-positive mental state that is independent of loci i. While it seems underwhelming as the greatest good, it takes no more than some Socratic inquiry to support such a notion.
Let us consider the example of God, or living by the will of God. A theist is likely to consider this the prime candidate for SB. Applying basic Socratic inquiry, however, it seems that the theist is hard-pressed for a satisfactory justification for his theism.
Truly, why else would one seek out a God-fearing life, if it were not for a positive mental state that doing so brings? In both outcomes, the theist derives pleasure from her living by the will of God. Consequently, it becomes apparent that living by the will of God becomes an inferior good to pleasure as it becomes instrumental towards attaining pleasure.
Apart from the many instances of denying pleasures to a believer e. The same process can be repeated across any other good.
Charity, for example, makes for a good demonstration of pleasure as the greatest good. Thus, cost of disutility or discomfort to an individual may be justified by the overall nett positive mental states it brings about. Forgoing an expensive meal or two, for example, would easily qualify as being an act we ascribe the property of being good if it means that ten other starving children get food for a day.
Thus concludes my reductive argument for pleasure as the SB. All goods, from pleasures of the flesh to divine goods, are instantly inferior to pleasure as long as pleasure is derived from their pursuits — this makes pleasure the superior good, from which all other goods derive their goodness.
Insofar as a contribution to meaning is concerned, this brings to mind the plausibility that our pursuit of pleasure is what gives anything meaning.Teleology is the study of the ends or purposes that things serve, and Aristotle’s emphasis on teleology has repercussions throughout his philosophy.
Aristotle believed that the best way to understand why things are the way they are is to understand what purpose they were designed to serve. Furthermore, Aristotle stated that the greatest virtue of man is reasoning, and the greatest pleasure is to fulfill the function of man.
Therefore, since the greatest virtue of humans is reasoning, then a life of contemplation would be the best life. The Life of Contemplation 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’s account of a good life is defined in Book I of the Nicomachean Ethics and revolves around the function of human beings. This function Aristotle determines to be unique to human beings, which is the act of reasoning well. In Action, Contemplation, and Happiness, C. D. C. Reeve presents an ambitious, three-hundred-page capsule of Aristotle's philosophy organized around the ideas of action, contemplation, and happiness.
He aims to show that practical wisdom and theoretical wisdom are very similar virtues, and therefore, despite what scholars have often thought, there are few difficult questions about how virtuous action and . Life of contemplation - according to Aristotle's argument Aristotle takes the essential question on which kind of life do humans ought to lead and theorizes a life of contemplation is the optimum solution.