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Action, Contemplation, and Happiness: An Essay On Aristotle

Aristotle's basic method of inquiry consisted of starting from what we know or think we know and then asking how, what, and why. In his metaphysics, he developed the idea of a first cause, which was not itself caused by anything, as the ultimate explanation of existence Christian theologians later adopted this idea as a basic argument for the existence of God. Aristotle taught that everyone aims at some good. He said that happiness does not lie in pleasure but in virtuous activity. By virtuous activity, he meant behaving according to a mean between extremes. For example, courage is the mean between the extremes of cowardice and foolhardiness. The highest happiness of all, Aristotle believed, was the contemplative use of the mind.

Contemplation, and Happiness: An Essay On Aristotle ..
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By studying philosophy, people can clarify what they believe, and they can be stimulated to think about ultimate questions. A person can study philosophers of the past to discover why they thought as they did and what value their thoughts may have in one's own life There are people who simply enjoy reading the great philosophers, especially those who were also great writers.

Action, Contemplation, and Happiness: An Essay On Aristotle ..

In his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle (384-322 B.C.E.) describes the happy life intended for man by nature as one lived in accordance with virtue ...
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That happiness is the end pursued by practical wisdom is commonly agreed. What is disputed is whether happiness is to be found in the practical life of political action, in which we exhibit courage, temperance, and other virtues of character, or in the contemplative life, where theoretical wisdom is the essential virtue. C. D. C. Reeve argues that the dichotomy is bogus, that these lives are in fact parts of a single life, which is the best human one. In support of this view, he develops innovative accounts of many of the central notions in Aristotle’s metaphysics, epistemology, and psychology, including matter and form, scientific knowledge, dialectic, educatedness, perception, understanding, political science, practical truth, deliberation, and deliberate choice. These accounts are based directly on freshly translated passages from many of Aristotle’s writings. is an accessible essay not just on practical wisdom but on Aristotle’s philosophy as a whole.

What is disputed is whether happiness is to be found in the practical life of political action, in which we exhibit courage, temperance, and other virtues of character, or in the contemplative life, where theoretical wisdom is the essential virtue.

Aristotle: The Life of Contemplation is the Best Life

Plato, Aristotle, Caesar ...Aristotles Claim That Contemplative Life Is The Greatest Philosophy Essay
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Stoic Philosophy and Epicureanism were the two main schools of Greek philosophy that emerged after the death of Aristotle in 322 B.C. Both schools taught that the purpose of knowing is to enable a person to lead the best and most contented life

Aristotle created the earliest philosophic system. In his philosophy, all branches of inquiry and knowledge are parts of some overall system and connected by the same concepts and principles. Aristotle believed that all things in nature have some purpose According to his philosophy, the nature of each thing is determined by its purpose, and all things seek to fulfill their natures by carrying out these purposes.

An All-inclusive Interpretation of Aristotle’s Contemplative Life
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Aristotle: Why a life of contemplation is the ..


PHILOSOPHY is a study that seeks to understand the mysteries of existence and reality. It tries to discover the nature of truth and knowledge and to find what is of basic value and importance in life It also examines the relationships between humanity and nature and between the individual and society. Philosophy arises out of wonder, curiosity, and the desire to know and understand. Philosophy is thus a form of inquiry--a process of analysis, criticism, interpretation, and speculation.

Action, Contemplation, and Happiness: An Essay on Aristotle

Plato taught that only ideas are real and that all other things only reflect ideas. This view became known as idealism. According to Plato, the most important idea is the idea of good. Knowledge of good is the object of all inquiry, a goal to which all other things are subordinate Plato stated that the best life is one of contemplation of eternal truths. However, he believed people who have attained this state must return to the world of everyday life and use their skills and knowledge to serve humanity. Plato also believed that the soul is immortal and that only the body perishes at death. His ideas contributed to views about the body, soul, and eternal things later developed in Christian theology.

Action, contemplation, and happiness : an essay on Aristotle

Modern Philosophy. A great cultural movement in Europe called the Renaissance overlapped the end of the Middle Ages and formed a transition between medieval and modern philosophy. The Renaissance began in Italy and lasted from about 1300 to about 1600. It was a time of intellectual reawakening stemming from the rediscovery of ancient Greek and Roman culture During the Renaissance, major advances occurred in such sciences as astronomy, physics, and mathematics. Scholars called humanists stressed the importance of human beings and the study of classical literature as a guide to understanding life Emphasis on science and on humanism led to changes in the aims and techniques of philosophic inquiry. Scholasticism declined, and philosophy was freed of its ties to medieval theology.

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