Aristotle, Happiness and Eudaimonia

This is an old essay from one of my first philosophy units. It’s a bit formal and academic for a blog, but I wanted to post it anyway.


Ancient Greek philosophers such as the Stoics and Aristotle have connected living a happy life with living an ethical life. They argued that in order to achieve happiness, one must live an ethical life. I agree with the argument that one cannot be happy unless they live an ethical life. In saying this, a number of key definitions need to be made and the reasoning for this connection must be explained. I will outline these key definitions based on Aristotle’s approach to virtue ethics and my own views. I will describe Aristotle’s argument for the link between an ethical life and a happy life. I will then put forward my own arguments as to why I agree with the theory. I will argue that there is a direct link between an ethical life and Eudaimonia, and a person cannot live a truly happy life (achieve Eudaimonia) unless they are living an ethical life.

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Ethics in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

If you could remove a painful memory, would you? Should you? These are some of the central questions that Michel Gondry’s (dir. 2004) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind asks. The film seems to offer some of its own answers to these questions, and interpretations by Christopher Grau and Troy Jollimore that draw on the content of the film and external philosophical concepts offer more (Grau 2006, Jollimore 2009). On one hand, Eternal Sunshine argues that memory removal is indeed wrong. On the other, it offers a less systematic ethical stance that aligns more closely with a Nietzschean immoralist world view. The film uses narrative and characterisation techniques to explore these philosophical and ethical concepts on memory removal and ways of living.

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