Kant and Aristotle's Ideas on Morals and Happiness - Essay Example

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The essay “Kant and Aristotle's Ideas on Morals and Happiness» cites Aristotle - that morality is a main aspect of friendship, and friendship is the basic prerequisite of human happiness. The main difference in Kant’s concept is that morality is not accessible for those who try to be virtuous. …
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Kant and Aristotles Ideas on Morals and Happiness
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Download file to see previous pages To most of us, there is always a demarcation between the things concerning livelihood and the things concerning our morality.  In fact, most of us agree on the notion that the pursuit of morality often leads to us having to deny our self-happiness.
By contrast to these universally accepted views, Aristotle believes that it would be impossible for any man or woman to access true and genuine heartfelt happiness unless the same person is also maintaining the right morals.  Virtue is, therefore, seen as a requirement for happiness.  It is something that is hard to comprehend. One would think that if a person is given sufficient economic power or political power, then the individual could attain happiness without necessarily doing what is accepted as morally right.
Kant has a different view of happiness. He believes that it is not possible to have a categorical imperative for happiness.  People are different and they have different personalities. This implies that everybody has his own set of things that make him or her happy. What makes one happy does not necessarily make the other happy. Since knowing the things that make others happy is elusive, Kant believes that we can only use a hypothetical imperative in order to come up with something that will make other people happy (Kant 62).
The concept of Aristotle on the morally right is not the same one that most other philosophers have. It is argued that if manners usually teach people good morals, the military will not be using the kind of training they do. There is the biggest concern on who knows who is moral and who is not. There is always the possibility of hypocrisy since outward appearance does not necessarily reflect the internal desires and intentions of a person. Morality is, therefore, thought by others not to be connected in any way to happiness, for instance, Kant (63) argues that morality is all about doing what is accepted in society as the moral thing to do. He believes that morality is all about rationalization in order to choose from the right and the wrong in order to end up with a moral decision. Kant further propagates the idea that a moral decision must be consistent with the moral laws and must be done for moral reasons (61). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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