Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Philosophy

Subject Categories



College of Liberal Arts



Thesis Adviser

Elenita D. Garcia

Defense Panel Chair

Rolando M. Gripaldo

Defense Panel Member

Florentino T. Timbreza
Juan Rafael Macaranas


The main objective of the study is to compare and contrast the philosophical approaches of Aristotle and Ayn Rand to an individual's search for a true and lasting understanding of happiness. The study intends to clarify the philosophical foundations of a person's search for happiness as viewed by an Ancient Greek philosopher whose ideas have influenced many aspects of the human life we now know and a controversial contemporary philosopher/writer whose ideas have been seriously doubted by professional thinkers of the 20th century. The researcher intends to somehow bridge the gap between our contemporary mindset and that of the Greek philosopher's view about life. Thereby presenting a view or understanding of what it means to aspire for our dreams and aspirations and not to be drowned by the pressures of the impersonal and uncaring will of the crowd. Both thinkers hinged their ethical theories on the belief that an individual goes through life pursuing goals which he/she believes to be necessary for one's happiness. The researcher hopes to identify the ii significant similarities between the two thinkers, and try to come up with an analysis that would lay down principles as to how one should view his/her pursuit of happiness. The researcher opted for a comparative study of Ayn Rand and Aristotle ethical pursuit of happiness because the researcher believes that by finding an ally in the thoughts of Aristotle, Ayn Rand's theories would be looked at with a greater degree of acceptance. Instead of being dismissed as some ego-crazed, dangerous pseudo-thinker who wants to rebel against all forms of social norms or arbitrariness. The study is pushing for a re-evaluation of the dichotomy set by contemporary society between the pursuit of one's goals and the idealistic virtues of altruism. The researcher holds that an extremely altruistic view of life not only stifles individual growth but also contributes to a regressive society that radically embraces conformity and disregards an individual's creativity. The research basically holds that we do not seek success in our endeavors so that others can take from us. But decent and realistic human existence demands that we live and exist so that we can find meaning and discover the significance of our lives in the greater schemeof human existence. The researcher holds that this is what basically made this study significant. A paper that aims to treat the concept of happiness in a rational manner, so that an individual could have a better understanding of oneself and of society. One should realize that the concept of happiness is a reality imbedded into our lives and is something that we must learn to deal with. To preserve and seek ones happiness is a necessary tool for us to live our lives and be of service to others. Going through life, one would realize that every ethical concern of a person is influenced by dissatisfaction in one way or another. And the dissatisfaction experienced primarily propels one to achieve great deeds, which he/she perceives would alleviate pain and result into greater contentment and a more enduring happiness.The method being employed by the researcher is primarily an informational comparison, which intends to supply a significant amount of information for a notable reason. This methodology aims to present similarities and differences, which are clearly not obvious. The writer aims to inform his readers of similarities and differences that they might be unaware of, have overlooked or might be confused with. The researcher opted for this method on account of two premises; First, much of a persons significant findings about life and reality involve some form of comparison and contrast. After going through a process of evaluation, then a person proceeds to take action based on his/her realizations. Second, the study intends to employ a strategy that sheds light on concepts, which have been often shelved and avoided with the use of terms and a pattern of thinking which is immensely familiar to most academicians. The researcher holds this is what initially drove him to the task of comparing the thoughts of Ayn Rand and Aristotle. The writer believes that this method is an immensely effective strategy in making discoveries about things or ideas that would otherwise be unnoticeable. The researchers framework relies on the assumption that the experience of happiness should not be confined within the borders of ones subjective existence. Rather, happiness should be taken and understood within the context of a reality experienced and shared among individuals who pursue a common goal. This common goal does not necessitate blind conformism, but an authentic individualism that takes into account the hopes, dreams and aspirations of people who are exercising their right to live a life they have freely chosen. Those who followed the thoughts of Aristotle eventually referred to this as Selfv actualization and the proponents of Objectivism refer to this as rational self-made soul. The researcher holds that a clear and rational treatment of the concept selfishness would not necessarily lead to a chaotic society of egotistic maniacs. Rather the mindset of pursuing ones rational selfinterest would somehow encourage individuals to develop themselves up to the fullest of their potentials. And as a result, the productivity of individuals who willingly pursued their ends would have a positive effect on society. It is along this line of thinking that the researcher holds that further researches on the concept of Pride and Dignity should be explored. This within the context of a world that is changing so fast, and sometimes fails to evaluate and analyze its action because of recent trends in technology. A philosophical study on these two concepts and its effects on a changing society could provide us with a mindset grounded on the essentials of human pride and dignity which are importance requisites for a persons ethical pursuit of happiness.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

x, 130 leaves


Happiness; Ethics

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