Aristotle, Mill & Kant on Emotion Ethics

Aristotle, Mill & Kant on emotion

Ethics and its role on Emotion of Pleasure: Views from Aristotle, Immanuel Kant, and J.S. Mill

Analyzing the ethics of emotion, especially feelings of pleasure, is contemplated upon by the great philosophers Aristotle, Immanuel Kant, and John Stuart Mill. Each philosophers have arguments about the ethics of human emotions; however, despite the differences in focus and discussion of this issue, all three philosophers that the path towards achieving happiness or emotion of pleasure is subsistence to individualism and rationalization of society. That is, Kant, Mill, and Aristotle emphasize the vital role that intellectual development plays in the achievement of happiness among individuals.

In Immanuel Kants discussion of the ethics of emotion, he argues that feelings of pleasure should be generated morally and rationally — that is, there is a conscious effort in the individual to achieve pleasure that is right not only for him/her but also to the society.

A rational path towards achieving happiness means that the individual must initially discover and realize hi/her potentials in order to live satisfactorily. Satisfaction and contentment then becomes the individuals motivation to convey feelings of happiness morally and rationally to his/her society. However, it is also important to note that while feelings of pleasure can be generated morally and rationally, the emotion of pleasure or happiness cannot be arrived at specifically; that is, humans cannot truly know what the emotion of happiness or pleasure is, primarily because feelings are abstract ideas that cannot be easily conveyed or expressed through perception or experience. Thus, while happiness is achieved rationally and morally, there is always consciousness in the realization that these feelings are not what.

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