A Good Reputation . . .

Both to an individual privately and to all people generally there is one goal at which they aim in what they choose to do and what they avoid. Summarily stated, this is happiness and its parts. 2. Let us, then, for the sake of giving an example of what might be more fully explored elsewhere, grasp what happiness is, simply stated, and the sources of its parts . . . Let happiness be defined as success in life, or as the pleasantest life accompanies with security, or as abundance of possessions and bodies, with the ability to defend and use these things; for all people agree that happiness is pretty much one or more of these

. . .

If happiness is something of this sort, it is necessary for its ‘parts’ to be good birth, numerous friendships, worthy friendships, wealth, good children, numerous children, a good old age . . . reputation, honor, good luck, virtue; for a person´╗┐ would be most self-sufficient if he had these goods

. . .

Good reputation is a matter of achieving the respect of all people, or of having something of the sort that all or the general public or the good and prudent desire.

– Aristotle, On Rhetoric, Book 1 Chapter 5.

A good reputation, as Aristotle defines it, is a necessary component of achieving happiness; for it is grounded on having achieved the "respect of all people." The lack of a good reputation, therefore, means unhappiness. This is important because it goes to the core of most defamation claims. It’s a matter of losing respect in the eyes of your fellow man. 

Are you happy?




  1. Pat says

    Also respecting one another is crucial to a good reputation because its not about what you have, its what you give that upholds your worth.

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