Aristotelian Philosophy
Aristotle argues that happiness, function and morality are closely connected and
that virtue is dependent upon all of them. To fully comprehend Aristotle’s
theory, we must first examine each of these qualities and then determine how
they are related to one another. The deliberation process will show that all of
these qualities can be strongly connected, but not exclusively. Happiness,
function, morality and virtue can exist independent of one another. The first
deliberation is to define happiness. Happiness is the highest of all practical
goods identified with " living well of doing well"(100). According to

Aristotle, Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and pursuit,
is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been
declared to be that at which all things aim. But a certain difference is found
among ends (99). An example of this reflection would be the final product
created by an architect. This individual completed building a structure from
start to finish and has reached the end of the project. The architect is pleased
by the results of what she created. The architect achieved the desired outcome
and is therefore happy. A difference between the actual end and the desired
outcome is what makes happiness different for each individual. All ends do not
lead to happiness. For example, finishing a painting makes the artist happy but
not the autoworker whose preferred end is making vehicles. The fact that not all
human beings share the same ends proves that happiness is found at different
ends. Aristotle illustrates happiness as being the "chief good". In the
following quote he explains that rational human beings take happiness for itself
and never for any other reasons: Since there are evidently more than one end,
and we choose some of these...for the sake of something else, clearly not all
ends are final ends; but the chief good is evidently something final. (103). By
this definition, happiness must be only the final end, which is the "chief
good" (103). This means that happiness is the pursuit of all that which is
desired, and the desire is to reach the final end. If the end is final it
becomes the "chief good" (103). In Aristotle’s own words he says,

"Happiness, then, is something final and self-sufficient, and is the end of
action"(103). To say that happiness is the only chief good is not completely
true. If happiness is the only chief good than what is our function as human
beings? Aristotle associates functioning well with happiness and happiness is
the final result. He says that the function of human being is, "...an activity
of soul which follows or implies a rational principle..."(103). Human beings
must have the ability to exercise their capacity to reason in order to function
well. Reasoning is the key factor in making decisions. Human beings use
reasoning to decide what choices to make in life. The outcome of the choices
humans make is what creates desire. As a result, desires are what determine the"chief good" (103). If the chief good is happiness, than the function of
human beings and reasoning must also be happiness. One will stay on the path
towards happiness if reasoning is used as a function of life. Having virtue is
an essential part of the equation that sustains happiness and the ability to
function well. Rather than taking detours down paths of deficiency and
excessiveness, one may use reasoning to become a virtuous person. By staying
committed to the path toward happiness, one is considered virtuous. Aristotle
claims that the, "virtue of man also will be the state of character which
makes a man good and which makes him do his own work well"(111). If the above
statement is true than only virtuous human beings are happy and if they are
happy than they must also be functioning well. Aristotle then divides virtue
into two separate areas: intellectual virtue and moral virtue. He says that
moral virtue is the result of "habit"(108). If moral virtue is"habit"(108), it cannot be "nature"(109). Let us bring this to a deeper
level. Gravity by nature pulls everything to the earth’s surface at a fixed
rate. This rate can never be changed by the habit of something else. For
example, no matter how many times running water is diverted from its original
path to the lowest point, the laws of physics will always prevail. The running
water will once again find its path to the lowest point. This proves that any
sort of habit cannot change nature. However, intellectual virtue comes from what
is taught and learned throughout life by