The Good Life
Aristotle views the good life as a life in which the individual behaves virtuously, and he regards such a life as a prerequisite for human happiness. By "happiness", however, Aristotle makes it apparent that he is not thinking in terms of self-indulgence or a selfish pursuit of pleasure but, instead, of the living of that type of life which is most in accord with the human person's rational faculties. Aristotle follows the Hellenic tradition in seeing the city-state, or polis, as the highest form of rational organization, with the result that he identifies the living of the good life with citizenship in a good state.
While it would appear plausible that the living of a good life is essential to happiness as Aristotle conceives of happiness, some might question his view that a good state is a prerequisite to the living of a good life. In modern times, for example, there has developed a tradition associated with thinkers such as Thoreau and Tolstoy according to which the life of the inner person is more significant than the outward form of the state.
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