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Word Count: 776
Man has a function That function is reason A man is happiest when he performs his function well Happiness is the best good Therefore the good life is a life in which reason is used well Although the words are new the ideas are old Aristotles writing in his Nicomachean Ethics sparked much debate centered on his concept of the best life Aristotle writes that the function that is the activity of mans life is reason He argues that just as the best harpists are the most skilled at playing the harp so also the best men are those who excel at reason This is rather problematic for many readers What then is necessary for the realization of the good life Clearly a life of study is desirable One cannot spend all of ones time studying however This newly acquired reason must be used in everyday actions Obviously a life of study offers little varied life experience Balance against all of this is the reality of life The need to eat drink and provide a roof over ones head are necessary to the life of study The answer to these questions is closely related to Aristotles views of virtue Essentially there is a mean that lies between excess and deficiency The virtuous man is he that best navigates between the two Likewise to attain the best life one must choose the balance between the procurement of pure reason study and the use of already acquired reason life interaction while maintaining an adequate supply of external goods Most people will not be able to reach the pinnacle of the best life According to Aristotle men have differing amounts of virtue those with more virtue will be more likely to attain the best life The majority will however be able to reach the good life The good life necessarily varies for each individual because each individual has a varying capacity for reason Achieving the good
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