In Chapter 7 of Ethics, Aristotle highlights the importance of understanding, and then habituation is essential in achieving happiness. This idea was interesting because it made me realize the importance of education from young age and the corresponding idea with the current society.
Aristotle states that happiness is an activity that is self-sufficient and is the end of all actions. It is more than mere amusement in a way that happiness can be found in proper activities that are done by virtuous people. Moreover, he states that happiness is “activity expressing virtue,” which is activity of understanding. The activity of study aims at understanding and has its own proper pleasure, which increases activity. However, study and intellect cannot alone lead one to happiness. In addition to that, we need habituation and practice. We have to be raised with “fine habits” that are taught and shown by parents and legislators. These habits would then carry onto adulthood to understand reason and do right and fine actions that makes them virtuous and then happy.
The two parts of achieving happiness, intellect and habituation, seems to be an important aspect which parents and other adults are concerned about the youth. For better education and gain “fine habits,” parents send our children to school and university with high tuition and enforce their children to practice good behaviors in and out of the school to be a better and virtuous person by participating in different activities. Therefore, we can see that Aristotle’s idea of happiness and importance of education in current ideals of the society as well.