Happines and contemplation

If we were to run through them all, the circumstances of action would be found trivial and unworthy of gods. Must we not, then, next examine whence or how one can learn how to legislate.

What I’m Reading — Josef Pieper’s Happiness & Contemplation

Now if you take away from a living being action, and still more production, what is left but contemplation. Or to take another example, when we exercise our citizenship by voting, we are manifesting our rational potential in yet another way, by taking responsibility for our community.

Further, private education has an advantage over public, as private medical treatment has; for while in general rest and abstinence from food are good for a man in a fever, for a particular man they may not be; and a boxer presumably does not prescribe the same style of fighting to all his pupils.

Aristotle claims that nearly everyone would agree that happiness is the end which meets all these requirements. The goal of the physician is to produce a proper balance among these elements, by specifying the appropriate training and diet regimen, which will of course be different for every person.

Surely, then, while collections of laws, and of constitutions also, may be serviceable to those who can study them and judge what is good or bad and what enactments suit what circumstances, those who go through such collections without a practised faculty will not have right judgement unless it be as a spontaneous gift of naturethough they may perhaps become more intelligent in such matters.

This startling thesis is the theme of all that follows.

Aristotle’s Ethics – Book X: On Happiness and Contemplation

Certainly it was thought to be a part of statesmanship. This book traffics in the great question of human happiness or human flourishing.

For while people experienced in any department judge rightly the works produced in it, and understand by what means or how they are achieved, and what harmonizes with what, the inexperienced must be content if they do not fail to see whether the work has been well or ill made-as in the case of painting.

Now it is best that there should be a public and proper care for such matters; but if they are neglected by the community it would seem right for each man to help his children and friends towards virtue, and that they should have the power, or at least the will, to do this.

Happines and Contemplation

But we have no power over it because we ourselves are this gravitational impulse [by nature]. Is it, as in all other cases, from statesmen. Aristotle would be strongly critical of the culture of "instant gratification" which seems to predominate in our society today.

Will not the gods seem absurd if they make contracts and return deposits, and so on. But those of the sophists who profess the art seem to be very far from teaching it. However, while the title might be mistaken for a tract by Deepak Chopra, make no mistake, this book fits firmly within t This book was a truly profound read for me.

Whether it be reason or something else that is this element which is thought to be our natural ruler and guide and to take thought of things noble and divine, whether it be itself also divine or only the most divine element in us, the activity of this in accordance with its proper virtue will be perfect happiness.

But we must not follow those who advise us, being men, to think of human things, and, being mortal, of mortal things, but must, so far as we can, make ourselves immortal, and strain every nerve to live in accordance with the best thing in us; for even if it be small in bulk, much more does it in power and worth surpass everything.

There is yet another activity few people engage in which is required to live a truly happy life, according to Aristotle: The character, then, must somehow be there already with a kinship to virtue, loving what is noble and hating what is base.

Since, then, there are not several supreme goods, it seems that happiness is the same as God. As Aristotle says, "for as it is not one swallow or one fine day that makes a spring, so it is not one day or a short time that makes a man blessed and happy.

A fresh wind blows through it, and it is full of matter ripe for reflection. Some of them seem even to arise from the body, and virtue of character to be in many ways bound up with the passions.

This requires us to make choices, some of which may be very difficult. We have a rational capacity and the exercising of this capacity is thus the perfecting of our natures as human beings. Now he who exercises his reason and cultivates it seems to be both in the best state of mind and most dear to the gods.

Now these things are thought to be of the nature of happiness because people in despotic positions spend their leisure in them, but perhaps such people prove nothing; for virtue and reason, from which good activities flow, do not depend on despotic position; nor, if these people, who have never tasted pure and generous pleasure, take refuge in the bodily pleasures, should these for that reason be thought more desirable; for boys, too, think the things that are valued among themselves are the best.

This is in contradiction to the Stoic view, he argues, as noble and admirable as it is. In the midst of its repose there is unrest. This type of friendship is based on a person wishing the best for their friends regardless of utility or pleasure. It assumes, and therefore encourages, a magnanimity on the part of the reader to seriously consider these great themes: The modern world raises, he says, one final high-minded objection to the supremacy of contemplation — indeed, to the very notion that one ought to pursue happiness: Now to exert oneself and work for the sake of amusement seems silly and utterly childish.

Since man is a rational animal, human happiness depends on the exercise of his reason. Recap before conclusion Now that we have spoken of the virtues, the forms of friendship, and the varieties of pleasure, what remains is to discuss in outline the nature of happiness, since this is what we state the end of human nature to be.

Thus Aristotle gives us his definition of happiness: A good man they thinksince he lives with his mind fixed on what is noble, will submit to argument, while a bad man, whose desire is for pleasure, is corrected by pain like a beast of burden. And while people hate men who oppose their impulses, even if they oppose them rightly, the law in its ordaining of what is good is not burdensome.

Happiness and Contemplation

According to Aristotle, happiness consists in achieving, through the course of a whole lifetime, all the goods — health, wealth, knowledge, friends, etc. — that lead to the perfection of human nature and to the enrichment of human life. According to Aristotle, happiness consists in achieving, through the course of a whole lifetime, all the goods — health, wealth, knowledge, friends, etc.

— that lead to the perfection of human nature and to the enrichment of human life.

Happiness and Contemplation

Aug 25,  · Happiness and Contemplation Josef Pieper (St. Augustine's Press, ) p. These notes first written 25 February 'No matter how much you labour, you labour to this end: that you may see.' These words, delivered by St. Augustine in a sermon on the Psalms, are a convenient précis of this book, for they capture.

"The ultimate of human happiness is to be found in contemplation".In offering this proposition of Thomas Aquinas to our thought, Josef Pieper uses traditional wisdom in order to throw light on present-day reality and present-day psychological problems.

So, from the What I’m Reading category, I’ll mention that I am currently, sporadically reading the short chapters in Josef Pieper’s Happiness and Contemplation (St. Augustine’s Press, orig translated ). This book comes to me at the recommendation of my dearest friend and colleague Eric Johnson.

"Contemplation is man's greatest happiness" is a concept completely foreign to contemporary American society. It requires a fair amount of exploration and explanation just to understand what the statement is actually asserting/5(9).

Happines and contemplation
Rated 3/5 based on 83 review
Happiness and Contemplation by Josef Pieper