Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics AristotleAristotle's Nicomachean Ethics Essay, Research Paper Aristotle was one of the most significant philosophers of all time. His ideas are unique and his arguments make sense. Reading Aristotle's arguments makes the reader think about their own belief and wonder if Aristotle's beliefs could be true. Many people have loved Aristotle and believed in everything that he had to stay.
Others could argue with everything he has said. One thing that is sure is that he has a major impact on our beliefs and philosophies. In The Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle tries to prove that there is an end in life. He insists that life must have an end because everything else in the world has an end. By end he means a goal or final destination. What is the purpose of life? What are we striving for? He believes that happiness is this end and "most people say that happiness includes pleasure.' (p.
183). Some pleasures are good, however some pleasures are bad. So, if pleasures are bad then they can not be our goal. Aristotle questions bad pleasures. Would someone knowingly indulge in a bad pleasure? And how does this happen? People have different views about pleasure. Some believe "that no pleasure is good.' (p.
184). There are many reasons to back this statement up. Some of the reasons are pleasures have different processes and these processes are different from the end, "a temperate man avoids pleasure, ' (p. 184), children can pursue pleasures, and other reasons. Other people believe "that some pleasures are good but most are bad ' (p. 184) because some pleasures are from reproach and because some pleasures are harmful.
Aristotle's view is "that even if all pleasures are good, yet the best thing in the world cannot be pleasure.' (p. 184). He believes this because pleasure is a process, therefore it can not be an end. The explanation of why a person would knowingly indulge in a bad pleasure is found through appetites. Some appetites are among most people while others just apply to an individual. "Different things are pleasant to different kinds of people, and some things are more pleasant to everyone than chance objects.' (p.
74-75). People can go wrong with natural appetites when they do it in excess. Some people delight in the wrong things, or delight in the wrong way. They delight in things that they should not delight in or they do something that they should not do because it is delightful to them. A person is self-indulgent when they get more pain then they should when they do not have a pleasant thing.
A person is temperate because they do not have any pain when they do not have pleasurable things. Aristotle shows us that there is a difference between those who are self-indulgent and those who are incontinent. Self-indulgence is the pursuit of appetite. This is out of choice and it is giving into temptations.
Incontinence is out of passion and it involuntary. Sometimes people act out of passion when they know what they are doing is wrong. However, this wrong act gives them pleasure so they pursue it. These people do know what is right. Their desire for pleasure is stronger than their desire to do that right thing. After people do incontinent acts they feel regret about doing it.
However, next time they might do the same thing and feel the regret again. The problem with incontinent people is that they may not realize at that moment that the act is wrong. Even though they may have known their whole life that the act is wrong, at the moment that the act is committed, they are so blinded by the pleasure that they do not realize that the act is wrong. Aristotle concludes that if a person fully and completely knows at that moment that something is wrong then they would not commit the act.
Aristotle admits that everyone wants pleasures. He says, "if there is anyone who finds nothing pleasant and nothing more attractive than anything else, he must be something quite different from a man; this sort of person has not received a name because he hardly occurs.' (p. 76). Therefore, a temperate person is the best person because they are in the middle and they take things in moderation.
They do not try to have no pleasures, however they do not excess in pleasures either. A temperate person does not feel pain in the absence of pleasures. They do not give in to pleasures that are harmful to them either. Aristotle's answer to the initial question asked, would someone knowingly indulge in a bad pleasure, is no. It is no because if the person fully knew it was wrong they would not have indulged in the pleasure. The answer to the question how does this happen, is because even though a person may know in their heart that it is wrong at the time the pleasure is indulged they do not realize that it is wrong.
They do not realize it is wrong because of appetites. When Aristotle starts his argument it seems as though he is going to say that it is possible to knowingly engage in a bad pleasure, but as we read on the believe the opposite. Personally, I disagree with Aristotle. I feel that sometimes people do knowingly indulge in bad pleasures. I know that people are tempted by there appetites but they do know that the act is wrong and they still commit it.
If what Aristotle said was true than there would be a lot less crime, a lot less over-weight people, and a lot less sexually transmitted diseases going around. I am sure that some people do not realize at the time the act is committed that it is wrong because of appetite blinding them, but that is probably rare. Most of the time people to knowingly commit these acts.