Wednesday, 15 July 2009

In defence of Solon...

Why then should we not call happy the man who works in the way of perfect virtue, and is furnished with external goods sufficient for acting his part in the drama of life; and this during no ordinary period, but such as constitutes a well-conditioned life as we have been describing it.

Or must we add that not only is he to live so, but his death must be in keeping with such life, since the future is dark to us, and Happiness we assume to be in every way an end and complete. And, if this be so, we shall call them among the living happy who have and will have the things specified, but happy
as men.

On these points then let it suffice to have defined this much.

Aristotle - the Nichomachean Ethics

Or perhaps to add a little more; two cases, one of the perfect (or least awful) end, and one of the most hideous survival.


steve said...

The old woman's death was probably in keeping with her life in a way - crushed by her stupid husband.

Murphy said...

whoah - steady on... that's not at all what i was driving at (so to speak).