Ergon, Eudaimonia, & Psyche Essay

967 words - 4 pages

A pinecone planted upon the plain or mountainside becomes a great forest providing wildlife with food and shelter; from that forest emerges great trees, trees which become lumber and the lumber in the hands of a carpenter that came from a seed to builds homes and vessels for the greater well-being for the world in which he dwells. A carpenter would not forget to build the roof on a house or fail to allow for a doorway to enter the house as each has its own unique function and is necessary for the completion of a house as it is for a family to make the same structure a home. The function of a house is to become a home to a family, as it is the function of the family to contribute to the community and the community to benefit the city and the city to prosper the county and so forth; each in turn having a function to serve and benefit from the lesser to the greater and the greater to the lesser. Aristotle contends in the De Anima that the soul dwells in all living things and therefore all living things can know of fear, passions, virtues, and happiness that is found in the Nicomachean Ethics. Should the soul be conformable in the body or shape in which the soul (psyche) dwells and happiness (eudaimonia) issues from that form then all things according to Aristotle have a function (ergon); a function that is necessary for the survival of the species and therefore as the hand is necessary to feed the body; the hand also must procure the food in order to administer to needs of the essence constituting multiple functions to achieve satisfaction.
Aristotle states the soul is: “It is substance in the sense which corresponds to the definitive formula of a thing's essence. That means that it is 'the essential whatness' of a body of the character just assigned” (Bk 2, Pt. 1). That without the soul an object is merely an object, therefore having no function other that which returns to the earth. Ashes to ashes dust to dust all that lives returns to that from which it came when the soul departs. Aristotle gives the example, “Suppose that the eye were an animal-sight would have been its soul, for sight is the substance or essence of the eye which corresponds to the formula, the eye being merely the matter of seeing; when seeing is removed the eye is no longer an eye, except in name-it is no more a real eye than the eye of a statue or of a painted figure” (Bk 2 Pt. 1). If an object can no longer perform its function it is only in name what it once was, therefore having a soul no longer. Finally, Aristotle contends that a car is merely a car without the driver and the driver is merely a driver without a car....

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