Argument 6: Aristotle’s argument in Nicomachean Ethics 1 that happiness should not be defined as honor.
Aristotle argues in Nicomachean Ethics I that happiness should not be defined as honour. He states this argument most clearly in chapter 5 when he says, “Honor appears to be too superficial to be what we are seeking; for it seems to depend more on those who honor than on the one being honored, whereas we intuitively believe that the good is something of our own and hard to take from us. Further, it would seem, they pursue honor to convince themselves that they are good; at any rate, they seek to be honored by prudent people, among people who know them, and for virtue. It is clear, then, that- in their view any rate- virtue is superior to honor. (I. 5. 1095b23-31.)
Aristotle is saying that if happiness were just honor, it would be completely out of our hands and thus happiness would also be out of our control. He instead believes that happiness is determined from external and internal goods. Honor, being an external good and thus out of our control, is just a part of happiness. It is not, however, the core of happiness. Aristotle argues there is not one thing that determines whether we are happy or not.
Happiness cannot be defined as honor because honor is simply a means to the end, happiness. This being said, an end cannot be defined by one of its means. Aristotle shows this point in chapter 7, “We say that an end pursued in its own right is more complete than an end pursued because of something else, and that an end that is never choice worthy because of something else is more complete than the ends that are choice worthy both in their own right and because of this end. Hence an end that is always choice worthy in its own right, never because of something else is complete without qualification.” (I. 7. 1097a30-a38). The end Aristotle is referring to that is complete is happiness. It is pursued only for its own sake and never for the sake of...