What are we asking, when we ask how to live?
An answer to any of these questions at least partly answers the others.
Hence, the three main approaches to normative ethics: Consequentialism, Deontology, and Virtue Theory
This is partly because the motives of the agent are in play.
What is it? And how does it answer our question about the good life?
Every intentional action has an aim.
But some of those aims are conditional.
They can't all be.
Happiness. But what's that?
An end, and not for the sake of something else ("complete")
Taken by itself, makes a life good or successful ("self-sufficient")
These criteria, you might think, eliminate various candidates.
The kind of thing it is.
just as for the flute player, a sculptor, or any artist, and in general, for all things that have a function or activity, the good and 'well' is thought to reside in the function, so would it seem for man, if he has a function.
A thing is most actually what it is when it is manifesting its distinctive activity.
The distinctive activity of a thing might be the reason it exists---its final cause.
This reduces the problem of identifying the chief good to the problem of identifying the distinctive function or activity of a human being, the activity that makes a human human.
No, that's the life of a plant.
No, that activity is common to all animals
Life of activity, expressing reason well.
What's the best expression of our rational nature?
The arts (possession of which makes you an excellent artisan) involve identifying excess and defect along various dimensions.
Many virtues lie at a mean.
Virtue is the habit of finding these means.
A State concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which a man of practical wisdom would determine it.