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We should agree with Aristotle that our use of reason is good for us because happiness is the ultimate end and reason is the only way of attaining this happiness When Aristotle referred to happiness or eudaemonia he did not mean todays definition of a feeling of well being but rather living well and doing well 1095a 19 Happiness is an important aspect of Aristotles philosophy because for him it was an activity of the soul which attained a high level of excellence cultivated over the span of a complete life that accords with virtue 1098a 16 The notion of virtue for Aristotle was whatever it is that makes something good 1098a 12 The good is that for the sake of which other things are done 1097a 19 or in other words the good is the result of what someone or something rationally aims at If something or someone performs the job or task that it is meant to do and does it well than it has good virtue If I have a hammer that accomplishes its function of pounding nails well then the hammer has good virtue Aristotle saw that humans who stand out in some distinctive social role excel in specific dealings characteristic to it He then looked for some function apart from all these 1097b 35 to attribute to humans and found reason It is precisely the ability to use reason that sets humans apart from the other animals The soul Aristotle would have argued is composed of three main desires which are the appetitive spirited and rational The appetitive desires which animals also have would be the desire for eating drinking and sexual pleasure 1095b 19 These actions in themselves could not lead to human excellence as they are only temporary and rationality is required to keep them from their extremes Subsequently the spirited desires are compiled of wealth honor and power which are good but they do not lead to
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