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Running head: GOOD LIFE
Question 6: Good Life
Question 6: Good Life
The classical Greeks defined virtue, or arête, as the excellence of function. They also
understood happiness in terms of ‘function.’ The classical Greeks believed that a ‘thing’ was
happy if it functioned fully, and well according to its nature (Soccio, 2015, p. 171). According to
Aristotle, a ‘thing’ is happy if it performs optimally and well according to its nature. Happiness
is the art of realizing or actualizing the function of a ‘thing.’ Aristotle also argues that happiness
is the quality of life here and now, and not something to later on in life (Soccio, 2015, p. 172). In
Aristotelian terms, a good life is the one providing an individual with all the necessary conditions
and opportunities to become him/herself fully (Soccio, 2015, p. 172). A good life is also the one
in which an individual has the character required to become him/herself fully. The purpose of
this paper is to evaluate how the subject of philosophy prepares one for a good life from an
Aristotelian perspective. It will be argued that the subject of philosophy defines happiness and
good life, as well as the measures individuals need to take to live happily.
How the Subject of Philosophy prepares one for the Good Life
Understanding what happiness entails is critical to preparing people for the good life. An
important observation that Aristotle made is that happiness involves an element of luck. For
example, a person who is brought up well from infancy is likely to be happier compared to the
one who is not (Soccio, 2015, p. 173). Aristotle’s view about the good life is essential because it
helps people to answer some of the difficult questions they ask about happiness. For instance,
numerous people wonder why they are not as happy as others are. Others wonder why some
people are endowed with too much wealth, good looks, or health that makes them happy, but the
majority do not have anything to take care of themselves. The understanding that happiness is
sometimes a matter of good luck can help people answer some of the challenging questions they
ask themselves. We can also extend the element of luck to see that we are not worse off in
everything. For example, a healthy poor person may be happier compared to a wealthy but
terminally-ill individual. The ‘luck’ factor may, thus, be one of the most useful Aristotle’s
contributions to how people can prepare for a good life.
The understanding that some of the things we experience in life are a matter of ‘luck’ is
critical to the preparation of a good life. If we believe in fate, we are likely to accept all the
things that happen to us in life. Although it is logical to try and overcome challenging situations,
accepting fate can help us avoid the anguish that comes when we face difficult situations. Luck
also involves some level of timing. In this regard, we may not be lucky today, but we may be
lucky tomorrow. Therefore, hoping that our fortunes will change in the future can play a vital
role in preparing us for a good life. Remaining optimistic that better things will come can help us
deal with current life challenges. For instance, an optimistic person will treat the existing
problems as a temporary condition, hoping for better fortunes tomorrow. Sometimes hope is the
only ‘thing’ we can cling on when we face difficult situations, as we anticipate to be lucky in the
future. As such, the element of luck, as advocated for in Aristotelian philosophy, can play a vital
role in preparing us for a good life.
Human beings are complex because they are comprised of three elements of soul, making
it possible to grow physically, intellectually, and emotionally, but still fail to realize entelechy.
The external circumsta...
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