The Well-Ordered Soul: Happiness and Harmony
1.) What sets humanity off from other species, giving us the potential to live a better life, is our capacity to guide ourselves by using reason. If we use reason well, we live well as human beings; or, to be more precise, using reason well over the course of a full life is what happiness consists in.
Happiness is not a virtue, but that it is virtuous activity.
Virtuous activity makes a life happy not by guaranteeing happiness in all circumstances, but by serving as the goal for the sake of which lesser goods are to be pursued.
2.) Recognizing pleasure itself is a greater form of pleasure. The person who has developed the capacity for self-regulation, the self-ruler, has along the way, because of the kinds of beings we are, also experienced all of the other kinds of pleasures of others who do not practice self-regulation. We regulate it first by means of praise and blame, roughly making use of the honor part of ourselves, and then we regulate it by means of reflection and self-understanding.