Aristotle on Moral Virtue and Happiness

Aristotle on Moral Virtue and Happiness
For Aristotle, it was obvious that the best life for any human
involved being morally virtuous – we need to be virtuous to be
happy. He explains this on the grounds that the best life involves
the different parts of the soul functioning excellently. This will
ensure we excel as human beings and achieve the aim of living
happily. Acquiring moral virtues means having our desires and
emotions shaped such that our character is one which guarantees
that we react in the right way with the right feelings when we are
presented with certain situations. For example, the brave person
will stand firm in the face of danger, rather than running away.
This contributes to happiness in two ways. Firstly, virtuous actions
are enjoyable in themselves – virtuous people get pleasure out of
performing such actions. Secondly, moral virtue is part of the
happy life, so they have both intrinsic value and instrumental
value. Other features of the happy life would include friendship,
external resources and intellectual development.
One key way in which moral virtue has instrumental value is that it
makes possible other key elements in a happy life. Firstly,
friendship is possible only if there is a genuine concern for others.
Secondly, succeeding within the community is much easier if one
is virtuous. It is much easier to get along harmoniously with others
if you are trustworthy, honest, kind etc.
A further advantage of Aristotle’s theory is over the question of
motivation. Virtuous people are motivated to act morally because
they have the right sort of desires and emotions. Desires and
emotions can make us act, so such people act morally. We also
have a key answer to the question of why the egoist should act
morally. All humans aim at happiness, and if we need to be moral
to be happy, then all humans have a reason to be moral.
State what you consider to be
Two strengths of this theory.
Two weakness of this theory.