Essay Plato's Happiest Way of Life

Essay Plato's Happiest Way of Life

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Plato's Happiest Way of Life


A just life in a just society would be the happiest possible way to live for Plato. Justice is defined as a balanced and well-integrated specialization of functions both within the scope of society and the individual. The just society classifies its members on the basis of individual differences in intellectual and physical abilities and is therefore warranted. The way to achieve a happy life is only half satisfied with the presence of a just society. Other than living in a just society, the harmony between the parts within an individual's mind or soul is as important. The psyche contains three elements: wisdom, spirit, and appetite. The wisdom in a person, similarly to the role of the rulers in society, ought to be in command of the individual, and working in harmony with the spirit and the appetite, to achieve happiness. This is so because only the mind has the ability to reason and potentially achieve intelligence, which is the form of the Good -- the ultimate source of happiness.
The first argument provided is that an individual who achieves harmony among the three parts of his psyche -- mind, spirit, and appetite -- would naturally avoid disrupting the harmony by over-extending one of his appetites or desires. The same attitude would be conveyed when thinking of the reluctance a fisherman with abundant catch would have towards tipping over his boat to catch a water spider. The assertion that a just person is happy is based on the hypothesis that 'justice' makes a state happy is not built on firm grounds, and Plato elaborates the notion further.
The second argument offered is that the more real something is, the more pleasure it can give. According to the Divided Line, knowledge is more rea...


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...n atheist might find the existence of a Creator incompatible with his life-long belief, and feel the clash between the truth and his philosophy in life unbearable. A devote priest would find the correctness of the evolution theory equally disrupting in his lifestyle and unacceptable. Another problem, though not extensively discussed in this report, is as relevant. Plato believed that less gifted people should not waste the society's and their own resources on learning and advancing to the 'Good'. Only the wisest would learn to become philosopher kings and receive education of the highest quality. This preposition rebels against everything discussed above and yields those less of a genius would inevitably lead less enjoyable lives. The happiest lifestyle would only be reserved to intelligent individuals. This introduces enormous contradiction and simply cannot stand.

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