The virtuous person alone can attain happiness and the virtuous person can never be miserable in the deepest sense, even in the face of misfortune which keeps him from being happy or blessed. On his view, the virtuous person takes delight in what is fine and noble and is pained at what is shameful.
There is a lot of room for discussion here. In most cases, a virtue will fall between two vices, one representing an excess of a certain passion or inclination and the other representing a defect.
Happiness as the Ultimate Purpose of Human Existence One of Aristotle's most influential works is the Nicomachean Ethicswhere he presents a theory of happiness that is still relevant today, over 2, years later.
Milo the wrestler, as Aristotle puts it, needs more gruel than a normal person, and his mean diet will vary accordingly.
Nor is it enough to have a few virtues; rather one must strive to possess all of them. So happiness combines an element over which we have greater control virtue with elements over which we have lesser control health, wealth, friends, etc.
There are several ways in which Aristotle approaches the question of what happiness consists in. The key question Aristotle seeks to answer in these lectures is "What is the ultimate purpose of human existence? For Aristotle, however, happiness is a final end or goal that encompasses the totality of one's life.
Unfortunately, this is something most people are not able to overcome in themselves. Aristotle would be strongly critical of the culture of "instant gratification" which seems to predominate in our society today. New York: Macmillan.
Oxford: Oxford University Press.