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Each individual has his or her own perception of happiness. The meaning of happiness depends on the standards that individuals set for themselves, for others, and for the world. Nonetheless, joy is individuals’s greatest objective. Thus, their efforts and enthusiasm are rooted in their desire to be pleased. Joy has likewise been associated with the words “successful” and “fulfilled,” but, what does it suggest to be truly fulfilled and pleased? If joy is humans’ highest craving, then one must look for insights on how to be delighted.
Thus, early theorists like Plato and Aristotle attempted to specify happiness. Both claim that joy is a choice, and it can be attained by living an excellent life. However, both provided different views on what constitutes happiness and a good life. In their journey to understand the real significance of happiness, Aristotle and Plato began questioning just what makes up a pleased life. Joy for Aristotle is an option, and it starts within.
It is not something that happens or pertains to an individual from without; rather, joy is rooted in human options.
Human choices according to Aristotle stem from virtues. The capability to reason or to understand and to ponder the fact will make a person acquire virtue. Given that male is talented with logical soul, then a “male’s highest goal is the activity of the soul in conformity with reason” (“Plato and Aristotle”). Aristotle inspires people to look for the reality that comes from the right virtue of thinking. Although man is not born virtuous, he is born with senses, and senses should be used and used for a human person to find out.
According to Aristotle, learning takes time.
Hence, the gotten virtue should be practiced constantly. After numerous years of learning, Aristotle declares that an individual who lives a virtuous life habitually will accomplish and complete an ideal life. A good man is one who reasons well and ultimately picks well. Plato shares the same principle with Aristotle that an individual, in order to more than happy, should choose to act according to his reason and knowledge. Basically, both believe that males as logical beings have the choice to act according to their will. Virtue causes happiness, and male needs to act according to this knowledge.
To be happy, both philosophers believe that one must perfect the mind and character from virtues through continuous and habitual practice. However, Aristotle sees happiness as more than a virtue: “Nature is human nature as a whole. This is both rational and sensuous. His treatment of happiness is in closer contact with experience than that of Plato” (Maher). In addition, Aristotle believes that happiness does not only depend upon virtue but also upon pleasure, wealth, and leisure. On the other hand, Plato views happiness as a path and as direction.
Plato affirms that in attaining happiness, one must exhibit love and lack of desire. Happiness will automatically occur when one arrives at a mystical understanding of the world. Human reasoning, after all, is rooted from spiritual element. One must realize that the nature of goodness is innate, and when this nature is revealed, he or she will consequentially be happy. Thus, it appears that Plato’s view of attaining happiness is more metaphysical than Aristotle’s, while Aristotle’s view is more realistic than Plato’s.
Aristotle acknowledges men’s desire to be happy according to the satisfaction of senses so as long as it will not contradict virtue. As Aristotle believes that the soul does not survive after death, people should strive to be happy while they are still alive. On the other hand, Plato claims that true happiness is achieved only in the performance of one’s own duty, especially the duty of exercising justice as the highest form of virtue. (“Plato and Aristotle”). Thus, in Plato’s view of happiness, individual happiness is sacrificed for the good of the community. This idea was rejected by Aristotle, as he believes in individual happiness.
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