Pleasure is a crucial aspect that Aristotle demystifies by arguing against his fellow philosophers. These philosophers’ outlay different perspectives about pleasure, which Aristotle argue against. He insists that pleasure should be mind focused because doing so, enhances the chances of finding fulfillment (Aristotle & Reeve, 2014). Above all, Aristotle supports pleasure as a good thing because both human beings and other animals alike pursue it. For this reason, pleasure is not secondary to good life, but rather it is the most desired feeling of satisfaction that people experience when living well.
Aristotle is a renowned philosopher, who generally argued against the presented philosophy about pleasure. According to his analysis, pleasure is a complex concept that needs intensive investigation because it is a contradicting element (Aristotle & Reeve, 2014). The cause for contradiction is that other philosophers argue against pleasure by presenting vast supportive reasons. For instance, they argue that happiness involves pleasure, and that a happy person automatically qualifies to attain pleasure. More so, they argue that good and pleasure is not the same because not all good things are pleasurable. This means that pleasure is not good because some pleasures are shameful, while others are harmful. More so, they assert that pleasure can encompass every situation that includes pain, which is why wise people seek what is painless rather than what has pleasure (Aristotle & Reeve, 2014). Pleasure also obstruct thinking because the more the mind enjoys, the more the pleasure increases, which is why pleasure leads people into shameful acts or pain. These scholars conclude by arguing that pleasure is not a good thing because it is not an end, but rather it is a process.
Aristotle defies all the above-mentioned arguments by arguing tthat pleasure is not a process, but rather an end because it is an activity. This is the reason why pleasure is the most sought after concept because once it is acquired; the search comes to an end because fulfillment is experienced (Aristotle & Reeve, 2014). This is the case because pleasure does not occur when individuals come into something, but rather when they use something. Aristotle also argues that pleasure is not harmful and in cases where it becomes harmful, it only becomes harmful in a limited sense. More so, highest pleasures are not harmful in any sense. In addition, Aristotle claims that pleasure coincide with individual’s state, and not mind as earlier claimed by other philosophers. This is because the state in which the pleasure is granted determines the outcome of the pleasure acquired. For instance, if an individual is in a bitter state, like in a conflict, the outcome means that the individual has no pleasure. This explains the reason why restoration of people’s state is full of pleasure. Therefore, pleasure fostered by state determines an individual’s pleasure. This argument also affirms the argument that happiness is not guaranteed pleasure because happy people lack pleasure in certain states. Thus, happiness may lack pleasure especially when engulfed in harsh states (Aristotle & Reeve, 2014). On a different perspective, Aristotle asserts that people should erase the obvious perception that pleasure is only bodily, but rather pleasures extend beyond bodily perception. This perception has led most people to seek bodily pleasure that become bad when excessively taken. For this reason, the pleasure of the mind is the best pleasure to attain because the mind controls the entire system of the body.
Aristotle sets out each side of the issue by defining the good side of pleasure. He begins by confirming that pleasure is a good thing, but only if applied accordingly (Aristotle & Reeve, 2014). Therefore, understanding pleasure grants proper application in one’s life, where he finds fulfillment. Proper application means that individuals need to seek pleasure that do not foster pleasure to the body, but rather to the mind. This is because bodily pleasures bring forth consequences that may end up affecting the mind; hence, causing distress. Therefore, proper application of pleasure means seeking pleasure that fulfils the entire system because doing so guarantees comfort, fulfillment and the end of search for pleasures.
Prior to proper application of pleasure, Aristotle supports pleasure as a good thing because he argues that it is the most sought after aspect by both wild beasts and human beings alike (Aristotle & Reeve, 2014). The reason for the quest of pleasure is to find fulfillment; hence, qualifying pleasure as a good thing. This is explained by the fact that pleasure is not minor to good life, but rather pleasure is the most desired feeling of satisfaction that people seek and when they get it they experience it by living well. In addition, Aristotle confirms that pleasure is an end not a process because a good life is not an end state that individuals constantly strive for, but rather good life is a way of living that consists of habits of virtuous activities. The other reason why pleasure is an end not a process is because once an individual finds it, the search for it ends and the individual finds fulfillment.
Aristotle’s persuasive argument in support of the standard views of pleasure is overlooked due to various reasons that contradict the effect of pleasure through state, body or mind. His conceptions, which are based on the aspects that trigger pleasure have defects because he argues that people should not seek bodily pleasures, but rather they should seek pleasures that fulfill the mind (Aristotle & Reeve, 2014). This argument is not wholly certain because the mind and the body coincide in order for an action to take place. This means that at some points it is the body that triggers the mind; hence, bodily pleasures are transferred to the mind, which makes bodily and mind pleasures equal.
Despite these defects, Aristotle provides the reader with persuasive grounds that lead to the conclusion that pleasure is indeed good. His persuasive perspective leads me to accept his conclusion that indeed, pleasure is a good thing because people risk their lives and beat all odds in search of pleasure (Aristotle & Reeve, 2014). Therefore, I accept his view on the goodness of pleasure because it determines individual’s satisfaction. In addition, his argument on pleasure as an end not a process is a fact because the ultimate gain of searching for pleasure is finding it, and ones it is found, fulfillment is attained. In this regard, I agree with Aristotle’s conclusions that pleasure is an end and a good thing to find, but I find some facts overlooked in the issue of mind, and body’s contribution to pleasure.
Aristotle & Reeve, C. D. C. (2014). Nicomachean ethics.