Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Thoughts on Happiness; Aristotelian Inspired

Although a man of scientific investigation, Aristotle would believe there is reasoning behind the desire to want to practice science and philosophy. This reasoning would be a 'human drive' and by attempting to figure out the drive, one would be more apt to understanding "reason[ing]" as a practice – or, at least that is my simplification of Aristotle's thoughts involving virtuous thinking – happiness being goodness or good being happy. Essentially we are all driving for happiness, yet, not all of us are trying to figure out our [natural] drives with science or philosophy, necessarily, but with arts or other fields of investigation. No matter how we try to figure out happiness, we would still want to try. 

That is the 'human drive' I believe Aristotle paints for us.

There does seem to be a practice which Aristotle champions - politics. Politics would be the 'science of good' for Aristotle. And it is easy to see why: politics involve society, self and how they work together in a constant flux. To be concerned with political theory is to be concerned not only with yourself, but with other who inhabit your environment. Yet, in a self defeating principle, Aristotle dictates there is no perfect government. But, there may be a very great political system for a certain body of people. So, for the A-Man, while political philosophy is among the highest practices to know goodness, in extension happiness, he would also probably dictate “there is no one way to being good or happy, but a variety of manners to discover and categorize goodness.”

Ultimately, we cannot 'know' happiness, therefore we cannot know absolute goodness. Happiness is Godly, to assume we can fully aware of such absolute awareness would only prove the contrary in explanation. 

To gain, some sort of objective happiness, Aristotle would say "a secondary condition for happiness is political activism" therefore, instead of solely using your thoughts to better yourself, you would be practically using your thoughts to make real changes in society. 

What's the primary? There is none.  The primary way to happiness would be to never think you can know or have happiness, but to accept the moments which bring joy on the journey to enrich and better your life.  

Simply, true happiness comes from questioning happiness. The same with Free Will, Justice and Knowledge in general. Plato's (Socrates') ideas of forms, while not as limited as the categories developed by Aristotle, should give the impression we may never have perfect systems, but in the attempt to make the perfect system, we must realize what makes them already imperfect.

(These will introduce thoughts to a much larger piece on Happiness in progress - I need to define happiness in order for my CoP theory to be valid.)

This content is original to Nicholas Lukowiak

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