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Philosophy: Living a Happy Life

Powerful Essays
As one ponders on how to live a good life, many ideas come to mind. Whether this may be wealth, family, or beauty, the early philosopher’s theories need to be taken into consideration. Those early philosophers include Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, and The Epicureans. These four committed their lives towards bettering life, and are the basis of most philosophical theories. It is evident that these four need to be read, understood, and discussed to better understand one’s life. They always pondered on the thought of how to have a perfect life and society. When one makes their own theory, based upon these early philosophers, not only do they need to establish a strong belief system, it is required to practice this too. Plato had the most basic of theories, being that only virtue was needed in life to be happy and nothing else. For Aristotle, he used Plato’s foundation and added that external goods, such as wealth, respect, friends, and beauty were all necessary. Without one of these, Aristotle believes that one cannot live a happy life. For the Stoics, they settled on a balanced approached between virtue and external goods, saying that virtue is necessary, yet external goods are preferred too. The Epicureans largely argue the Stoics view, and present that pleasure (tranquility) is the goal of every life, but virtues and friends are required for this. Each theory has many critics, even with Aristotle being a critic of his own theory. None seems perfect, yet all fit today’s modern society. I found that I agree with the Stoics theory the most, and find that any external good is fine as long as virtue is the basis of that person’s life.
In the history of early philosophy, there were four prominent views on how to live on...

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... maintaining this virtuous attitude. When I reviewed my life from this prompt, I found that when I practiced virtuous acts, I was at my happiest state with a balance in my life.

Works Cited

Plato. "Gorgias.” Voices of Ancient Philosophy. Ed. Julia Annas. New York: Oxford, 2001. 305-318. Print.
Aristotle. "Nicomachean Ethics I." Voices of Ancient Philosophy. Ed. Julia Annas. New York: Oxford, 2001. 319-327. Print.
Cicero. "On Final Ends III." Voices of Ancient Philosophy. Ed. Julia Annas. New York: Oxford, 2001. 328-337. Print.
Epicurus. "Letter to Menoeceus." Voices of Ancient Philosophy. Ed. Julia Annas. New York: Oxford, 2001. 85-92. Print.
Plato. "The Republic Book II." "Republic Plato." Handout. History to Early Philosophy. (Prof. Blakey.) College of the Canyons. Nov. 5, 2013.
Julia Annas Voices of Ancient Philosophy. New York: Oxford, 2001. 337. Print.
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