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No one is therefore born good or evil, virtuous or the opposite, because everyone becomes virtuous only by virtue of deed. In fact, for Aristotle, “By doing the acts we do in our transactions with other men we become just or unjust” (II.1). Thus, no one can be called just or unjust unless he proves this through his dealings with his fellowmen. This alone presupposes that what Aristotle meant by a good life is a life of moral or virtuous action towards one’s fellowman.
Moreover, for Aristotle, “happiness” is doing something for the sake of doing it and never for a particular purpose. The Greek philosopher defines “happiness” as the “end of the things we do, which we desire for its own sake” (Aristotle I.2). Aristotle, therefore, gives us a very strict definition of happiness, equating it with something that is desired just for itself. This therefore does not translate as money, career, friends and family because these things are not desired for themselves but for the happiness that they can give us. For Aristotle, happiness is virtue and the only way to attain it is by living the virtuous life, or the good life. The good life is therefore “the good and noble performance of [a man’s function which is based on a rational principle]” (Aristotle I.7). From this statement of Aristotle’s, not everyone can attain true happiness because the fulfillment of a good and noble purpose as a rational being cannot possibly be performed by all people. Therefore, the good life can only be had by those who live the virtuous and noble life according to rational principles. If, therefore, one is a teacher, then he must teach virtuously for that is what a good and noble life means to him, and so this life brings him happiness.
For Aristotle, the good or virtuous life can only be had if one understands the meaning of virtue. According to the Nicomachean Ethics, virtue seeks “the
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