Aristotle, was born in Macedonia in 384 BC. Aristotle’s father, whose name is Nicomachus, was a court physician. When Nicomachus died, Aristotle had a heritage from his father and according to ancient sources, he spent it in a very short time. Thereafter, he attended the Plato’s Academy in Athens when he was 17. At the beginning, Aristotle agreed with Plato’s doctrine. In the process of time when he found a contradiction in Plato’s doctrine, he had argued with Plato. In other words, Aristotle had opposed to Plato’s doctrine. On the other hand, Aristotle was the first person who had his own special library.
Aristotle’s book which is Nicomachean Ethics, touch on two basic points.
- What is the best life for a man to lead?
- What is the standard of moral virtue?
“Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and pursuit, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim”.
These words of Aristotle’s from the Nicomachean Ethics, clearly explain that, as a human being, we can not live without any goals. All human activities have some purposes which aim to get something good for human being. Good is the aim of all inquiry and actions. Furthermore, every action has a purpose which are the meaning of the real and complete life and this purpose is the goodness. So the biggest goodness and our life’s last aim is to reach at point eudomania which means happiness in a very wide meaning in all parts of life. To reach the highest point of eudomania we have to be virtuous and always aim goodness in our complete life.
I believe that as Aristotle has mentioned:
“Since happiness is an activity of soul in accordance with perfect virtue, we must consider the nature of virtue; for perhaps we shall thus see better the nature of happiness.”
Human good is the soul’ s action with virtue and I think that Aristotle has added purposely the word ‘complete life’ because there are people who live their life without thinking and only pass the days to expand their life. But in a complete life, human being is in acknowledgement of his or her life and he or she does not focus only on one perspective of his or her life. Life has different kinds of parts to live and to reach the highest end of that parts. After living the life properly, the person will be satisfied and can reach to goodness on every single part. But it is obvious that person will not reach goodness with same level on each part. Some will be stronger than the other, but the essential point is human being must be satisfied and ‘reach to goodness’ not only on one point but also in each point of life. Because human being’ s last and the most important aim is to reach to eudomania. Eudomania has a wider meaning then the happiness. That is the reason that the human must be reached to goodness on every part. For instance, he must have enough money, success, love, respect, health, etc.. All of them and more. Being reached to eudomania points means human must be satisfied physically, psychologically and mentally all in one time. For instance, a person is healthy and rich but he hasn’t got any respect from other people. Is it possible to say that he has reached to eudomania or even to happiness? It’s not. Or is it possible to think a person is happy who has got a lot of money, respect, and love without health? Obviously not. The reason is that as Aristotle has mentioned, the person must be satisfied totally. That is the reason of why Aristotle has added the term ‘complete life’. Additionally, related to this, other comment of this term can be explained by the reality that people must aim goodness and act virtuously not only in one area but also in all parts of thier lives.
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On the other hand, there are some people who live their life spending the days without planning with any kind of aim. What will be the meaning of life? Why we were born ? Why are we living or dying? The answer would be ‘for nothing’. This is a starting point of chaos. At this point, a person cannot find the reality of life and if the life has no meaning and no aim, a person can not live a complete life virtuously. Besides, the goodness is not the basis of each action, so why people should not harm to each other or not commit a murder. To aiming the goodness is the biggest educator of the community life. As I mentioned above, getting the highest ending is the terminal stage of the real life which should be lived virtuously for understanding the meaning of it or there are people who believes that money and respect can worth everything. Without health, how can people be happy?
As a result, there are the reasons why I agree with Aristotle that human being must be aimed at goodness by being virtuous and the essential point is to having goal ‘goodness’ in all parts of life. It’s very important to think about a complete life because if only one part could be excellent while others couldn’t it has no meaning. Human being have to be satisfied with himself or herself in all parts of his or her life.
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