Nicomachean ethics book 1 section 7
Aristotle: Nicomachean EthicsAll rights reserved. And sometimes that's more than one thing. And sometimes, we aim at those things for the sake of something else i. Those kinds of goods are incomplete. The "better" good, then, is something that is complete—something that's good in itself, without the need to refer to something else.
E VERY 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. But a certain difference is found among ends; some are activities, others are products apart from the activities that produce them. Where there are ends apart from the actions, it is the nature of the products to be better than the activities. Now, as there are many actions, arts, and sciences, their ends also are many; the end of the medical art is health, that of shipbuilding a vessel, that of strategy victory, that of economics wealth. But where such arts fall under a single capacity -- as bridle-making and the other arts concerned with the equipment of horses fall under the art of riding, and this and every military action under strategy, in the same way other arts fall under yet others -- in all of these the ends of the master arts are to be preferred to all the subordinate ends; for it is for the sake of the former that the latter are pursued.
Eudaimonia happiness; "living well and doing well" is that for the sake of which all other things are done, and it is "final" ultimate and complete and "self-sufficient": it is pursued for its own sake final ; it is something which, taken by itself, makes life desirable and not deficient in anything self-sufficient. But, what does that mean? What does eudaimonia involve? What kind of thing is it? If we are talking about human happiness and we don't have access to any other kind, after all , says Aristotle, perhaps we need to look at the "function" ergon of a human, i. There are several possible reasons for approaching the question of human happiness from this angle. It may at first seem odd, in that a "function" might seem to us to be something automatic, or something that has little or no relationship to enjoyment for example, unflavored soybeans might serve the purpose of nourishing us, and do it well, but we might not enjoy eating them.
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The work, which plays a pre-eminent role in defining Aristotelian ethics , consists of ten books, originally separate scrolls, and is understood to be based on notes from his lectures at the Lyceum. The title is often assumed to refer to his son Nicomachus , to whom the work was dedicated or who may have edited it although his young age makes this less likely.
Our account of this science will be adequate if it achieves such clarity as the subject-matter allows. See Important Quotations Explained. Every human activity aims at some end that we consider good. The highest ends are ends in themselves, while subordinate ends may only be means to higher ends. Those highest ends, which we pursue for their own sake, must be the supreme Good. The study of the Good is part of political science, because politics concerns itself with securing the highest ends for human life. Politics is not a precise science, since what is best for one person may not be best for another.