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Both of these are thus translated through Aristotle's health component in his enumeration of elements that could make a person happy. One's health will be affected if the toilets at work are dirty, as well as if the working conditions do not ensure the physical security of the individual. This means that when applying for a job, the individual will look first of all at these elements before deciding whether the respective position may have some of the other elements Aristotle mentions in order for him to be a happy employee.
Many of the other components of Aristotle's enumeration of what happiness is about belong to the fourth and fifth levels in Maslow's pyramid of needs. Most notably, these are related to the capacity of the respective office or workplace to offer the individual the ability to exercise his intellectual and moral skills and to be recognized by his fellow workers, as well as by his management. The fourth and fifth levels of Maslow's pyramid include esteem and self-actualization. With self-actualization, things are taken even a bit beyond Aristotle's approach, beyond the need to exercise moral and individual skills and into the need to constantly improve these. Other elements from Aristotle are probably not discoverable in the workplace, most notably good friends, due to the arguments previously presented.
The justice element as Aristotle sees it should also be briefly argued from the approach that the company takes towards outside individuals. This can be connected to the way the involvement of the employees can actually be considered an unjust act or simply an act for which they cannot be responsible, since it was the company's decision. To exemplify, the company can decide to launch an insufficiently tested product on the market in order to increase revenues during a certain period of time.
From the managerial perspective, the act can be considered unjust according to Aristotelian thought because this is an action that can create harm (and, thus, a potential loss) for the recipients of this action, the customers. On the other hand, the employees can also be considered as doing an unjust act, because, despite the fact that they knew of an unjust act, they continued to take part in it. It is difficult, however, to assume that the unjust act could be stopped if employees decided to leave the company or anything similar.
However, the interesting fact is that the company's main objective is profit maximization. From that perspective, the shareholders might consider the act just, according to their own interests. They might argue that, in fact, the product could in no way be harmful for the consumers and that the studies that had supposed this was so are not true. This is something that Aristotle does not take into consideration: the relativity of moral norms and the way this might affect the just or unjust value of a certain action of an individual.
As this paper has aimed to present and discuss, Aristotle is still very much actual through many of his thoughts and ideas on notions such as happiness, justice or friendship. Even if one takes these and projects them into a limited space, one with its own traditions and actions and one that is also occasionally governed by different sets of rules, the relationship between individuals can still be considered as falling under the categories of friendship that Aristotle presents or relating to the idea of justice, present in his work on ethics.
However, the complexity of the current society and the vast volatility of interactions between individuals quite often mean that additional elements will need to be brought into discussion in order to have a complete picture. The fact that some companies do not allow romantic relationship in the office is not necessarily related to the fact that management is unjust, not even by Aristotelian standards. It could, however, mean that the interest of the company could be undermined by such a relationship. Through such an explanation, the act itself could appear as being just.
1. Nicomachean Ethics. Translated by W.D. Ross. On the Internet at http://virtuescience.com/nicomachean-ethics.html. Last retrieved on October 5, 2009[continue]
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