The Flourishing Villain
Happiness and Flourishing According to Aristotle, human flourishing stays for the innate potential of persons to lead a life of enduring happiness, which is different from a pleasure of feeling good. In this context, the condition of attaining the state of flourishing is exercising personal virtues. Subsequently, an evil person cannot be flourishing as he/she does not fulfill the condition of its acquisition.
In order to realize why an evil person cannot flourish, one has to look at the qualities, which Aristotle attributed to virtues. Firstly, a virtuous action or habit always stays between the limits of excess and deficiency, which can be defined as vices. (Brown, 2001) For example, braver person can be considered virtuous, however, an excess of bravery bounds with the tendency to make thoughtless and purposeless actions, such as jumping from the roof. In contrast, lack of bravery makes a person coward. Subsequently, flourishing is about living a life of excellent functioning. Due to the fact that evil actions are not virtues, they cannot be constituents of happiness in Aristotles interpretation and cannot make a person flourish. Moreover, it is not possible to say that a person, who enjoys pleasure is flourishing as far as only the highest good, which is good intrinsically, is a component of flourishing. (Kraut, 2007) At the same time, the highest good requires from persons to act rationally. In contrast, a pleasure can be of different nature, it can be both good and bad, and without goal. Therefore, pleasure is not the same as happiness. Happiness and flourishing are final, they are the goal, and remain self sufficient.
To my mind, the discussed ideas reflect the generally accepted rules of living as the essentials of living in a society persuade that a person who lives the righteous and moral life can achieve the highest happiness while those who mistreat others end in misery. Apart from that, it often happens that those, who conduct evil deeds are, in fact, unhappy and have issues that prevent them from living a life as all the rest. Numerous studies of psychologists serve as a good proof of this fact. If a someone who is deceitful, selfish, or self-indulge could be named flourishing than it would be justified to call murders flourishing as well. Obviously, this is not the case as such people simply does not suit the definition, they do not show sympathy and pity where it is appropriate.
Brown, C. (2001, Apr 16). Aristotles ethics. Trinity University , Retrieved from http://www.trinity.edu/cbrown/intro/aristotle_ethics.html
Kraut, R. (2007). Blackwell guide to aristotle\. (pp. 342-343). Oxford: John Wiley &. Sons. Retrieved from http://books.google.com.ua/books?id=RoKZuVwgd_gC&.pg=PA342&.dq=Aristotles Ethics flourishing&.hl=en&.sa=X&.ei=h7fHU4WtIamm4gTanICQAg&.redir_esc=y
Pemment, J. (2013, Apr 5). What would we find wrong in the brain of a serial killer?. Psychology Today, Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/blame-the-amygdala/201301/what-would-we-find-wrong-in-the-brain-serial-killer