Ancient Greek Philosophy Reflection

Topics: Ethics, Plato, Socrates Pages: 2 (508 words) Published: December 3, 2012
Ancient Greek Philosophy Reflection

What constitutes a happy and virtuous person can be different through the eyes of every individual. Happiness is something that everyone wants and strives for in life, it is an emotion just as sadness, love, anger, fear, and excitement are. While being virtuous refers to the good qualities that someone possesses in their life and may even be admirable to some. The ancient Greek philosophers Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Epicureans and the Stoics all have their own views on what a happy and virtuous person is. Socrates believed that happiness and virtue are the goals of the good life; that virtue leads to happiness and knowledge, and happiness requires being virtuous. Plato also viewed happiness as the result of being virtuous, by having a well-ordered and balanced soul. Achieving virtue also requires having a well-ordered soul but in the end reason must control the appetites (desire). Aristotle opens up a new way of belief that is much different than Socrates and Plato. He believed happiness involves doing activities that we enjoy but only those activities that we do in moderation, for a lack of moderation is a lack of virtue. To be virtuous is to discover the Golden Mean, which then will result in the ultimate good. The Epicureans argue that a life of happiness is caused by pleasure, which happens naturally. A life of virtue brings the most amount of pleasure and therefore it is for this reason we ought to be virtuous. Lastly, the Stoics believed that happiness was achieved through perfecting human nature so as to live in accordance with natural law and having virtue is living in accord with reason and nature. Discussion of the links between happiness and virtue of character is one of the main distractions of ancient ethics, and a topic of much disagreement. As a result there are many varieties of eudaimonism.

Out of these five different philosophies, I think Aristotle sounds the most rational on his view of what...
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