Our modern concept of happiness appears to be one synonymous with contentment.A happy person is one who leads a life in which they are content with their actions.However, the Aristotelian conception of happiness, or of eudaemonia, is a compound, made of matter and spirit, of sense and intelligence, of animal conditioning and rational, all of this crowned and guided by wisdom and contemplation.Happiness, according to Aristotle is contingent on living a good life.He is a firm believer that good life can only be met if morally right actions are performed until they become habitual.After these actions become a habit, moral virtue can be achieved.I intend to discuss how Aristotle, in his Nicomachean Ethics, analyzes happiness and excellence in relation to moral virtue and the doctrine of mean.
Aristotle regards happiness as a final end – the final cause of action for a human being.He used the word eudaemonia in a sense which refers to the quality of a whole human life – what makes it good as a whole despite the fact a person is not having a blast or a good time every minute of it.A human life may involve many joy, pleasures, successes and it may also involve heartbreaks, sorrows, grieves, troubles and that could still be a happy life.So in other words, happiness is not measured by the pleasures we have nor is it marred by the agonies we suffer.
Happiness of man can be defined by determining the function proper to man.The function cannot be one which plants and animals also perform because it must be particular to human beings.Therefore, man's function must be a part of the term practical life of the rational part of man.The term practical here implies purposeful conduct which is possible only for rational beings.It follows, then that happiness consists in the action of the rational part, the soul.To constitute true happiness this action must persist with continuity throughout a lifetime.

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