Questions for Reflection - Nicomachean Ethics book 1
Below are some questions about Aristotle's text, its main ideas, and their applications within the context of your own experience. You may find these useful starting points for your own reflections about the material you are studying. You might also decide to use these as grounds for conversation with other people, whether here in our discussion forums or in other contexts in which you engage with other people.
1) How Do You Conceive of Happiness? - How do you think of, or understand happiness? When you have experienced it, or when you picture it to yourself, what does it look like? Does it consist in just one main good, or multiple ones?
2) Aristotle's Views on Happiness - What do you think of Aristotle's views on the main ways that people tend to conceive of happiness? Are the positions he distinguishes and examines still main viewpoints on the issue today? Are there any important viewpoints on the matter that he does not address in the Nicomachean Ethics? If so, what do you think Aristotle would have made of that or those positions?
3) Do Human Beings Have A Function? - Aristotle maintains that human beings, as human beings, do have some sort of function that they all share, even if most human beings don't actually realize it. What is this function and how does he think we develop or perform it? Do you agree with his view on this matter? Why or what not?
4) The Dead And Happiness - Why does Aristotle consider whether we might need to wait until a person's life is over before considering him or her to be happy? He also considers whether the status of a dead person's descendants affects the happiness of the dead. What do you make of this?
5) Fortune and Happiness - To what degree is our human happiness dependent upon the goods of fortune? Why does Aristotle think that these matter, and how much do they matter to our happiness? Do you think Aristotle is right or wrong in his views?