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Isn't it pretty?

Friday, June 04, 2004

Aristotle's Ethics

Being in school during the summer is hard. After having such a nice break, I am having trouble trying to balance my social life and school. I am resenting school a bit at the moment because it means that I have to be inside in a windowless classroom when I want to be outside enjoying the gorgeous weather. It doesn't help that I am taking a class that focuses on the business world when I have no interest in business whatsoever. Stupid required courses. Oh well, I got myself into it, I have to deal with it. Last night in class, we spoke about Aristotle's view of happiness being self-sufficient and the ultimate goal that we strive for. I have to admit that I didn't quite understand everything Aristotle was saying, because he has a tendency to assume that the reader accepts many of his assumptions, and then abruptly change topics. But I was bothered by the fact that Aristotle seemed to view happiness as the ultimate destination of a virtuous life. At what cost is happiness so important? At the cost of other people's happiness? Aristotle does say that the higher level is that which takes into account the happiness of the entire city-state rather than the individual, but then can you say that everyone is happy? I feel like doing the right, or virtuous, thing may not always make everyone happy, but it might lead to a better life, in general. The problem is Aristotle says that happiness is self-sufficient, so it can't possibly be dependent on anything. But if it is nto dependent on anything, then can it supercede what is right? I need to do more thinking about this one, but I have to trudge ahead and start reading the next assignments already - this time Aristotle takes on friendship. I have read it before, but I definitely need a refresher. Heading to DC for Shabbos, hopefully the weather will hold out so I can walk around the city and hang out near the Mall. Good Shabbos!


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