Custom essays on Aristotle, Friendship and Work
Eventually, Aristotle developed a more complicated concept of happiness which went beyond pleasure, honor and fame. He believed that people can become happy by “ascertaining the specific function of man. In the case of flute players, sculptors and all craftsmen – indeed all who have some function and activity – ‘good’ and ‘excellent’ reside in their functions. Now the same will be true of man, if he has a peculiar function to himself” (Knight, 241). In such a way, Aristotle believed that people can find their happiness in their activities. In other words, people become happy when they enjoy what they do in their life. In this respect, the work of an individual becomes a crucial factor of his happiness because if he likes it than he will be happy. Otherwise, the individual is doomed to sufferings and he cannot be absolutely happy.
At the same time, it is important to underline that justice was also an essential element of happiness. Aristotle strongly believed that Greek society and various forms of states that existed in his epoch were unjust. He argued that people often suffer from injustice and they cannot be happy if they live in a state where the injustice prevails (Lewis, 186). This is why justice was a tool with the help of which an individual justice could be possible. On the other hand, justice inevitably influenced the society at large since one individual cannot be just or benefit from justice and be happy if all other people in the society suffer from injustice. In this respect, Aristotle paid a lot of attention to the role of the state and its rulers. He argued that the absolute justice is possible only in an ideal state ruled by philosophers.
The philosopher-ruler is an ideal ruler for Aristotle because such a ruler is able to distract from trifles or personal interests which are secondary, while the good of the society and all people is prior to the philosopher. In addition, philosopher can establish a just state where justice can be equal to all people and there will remain no room for injustice (Scaltsas, 192).
Another important concept that influenced consistently the philosophy and ethical views of Aristotle was friendship. He believed that people are able to develop friendship relationships and these relationships were very important for Aristotle. He viewed friendship as an important factor contributing to the mutual understanding of people since Aristotle believed that friendship was beneficial to all people. He argued that friendship made people closer to each other and, therefore, friends can rely on each other and be helpful to each other. The latter was very important because the mutual support and assistance were essential condition of true friendship. In addition, Aristotle viewed friendship as an important factor contributing to the happiness of an individual. He believed that people cannot be happy if they do not have friends since they are deprived of friendship.
At the same time, he argues that friendship should be genuine. Otherwise, people cannot be absolutely happy because, if the friendship is not genuine this friendship prevents them from being supportive and really friendly, while the presence of some personal or material interest in friendship increases the risk of a treachery. Therefore, he concludes that insincere friendship is treacherous and unstable. This is why people cannot be happy if they do not have true, genuine friends.
In such a way, on analyzing basic philosophical ideas and views of Aristotle, it should be said that he believed in the possibility of happiness, which people can find in their activities, but they need to enjoy what they do in their life. In addition, they should not suffer from injustice that could make them unhappy and Aristotle believed that it is one of the major tasks of the state to ensure justice to all people that will lead to their happiness. Finally, friendship was also an important element of happiness, but on the condition that the friendship is genuine.
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