The Pursuit Of The Good Life : Individual Or Societal Effort Essay examples

The Pursuit Of The Good Life : Individual Or Societal Effort Essay examples

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Russell Natherson
Alexander Torres
3 November 2014
The Pursuit of the Good Life: Individual or Societal Effort
In the readings Five-Fold Happiness and Symposium, Sung and Plato respectably try to formulate a method on achieving the Good Life. In Sung’s work, Five-Fold Happiness, the Good Life (GL) is related to the contentment of the individual. According to the work, satisfaction is only found when all five virtues are fulfilled. In Symposium, Plato composes the Ladder of Love, and considers the GL to be the ability to see the beauty of everything; and loving that beauty. With respect to the viewpoints presented in their works the pursuit of the GL as an individual endeavor and as a societal effort will be observed. After analyzing the components of the readings, a clear framework regarding the GL will be observed in terms of the role of the individual and the society.
The five virtues (luck, prosperity, longevity, double happiness, and wealth) presented, in Sung’s Five-Fold Happiness, lay a guideline for a person to live a life filled with happiness. According to Sung, happiness is directly correlated to the GL. Therefore, fulfilling these virtues will allow one to live a good life; but can the virtues be achieved individually or is a society needed? To some degree the first virtue, luck, is not achievable. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as, “the things that happen to a person because of chance: the accidental way things happen without being planned.” The Chinese take into account that possessing luck is not controlled by the individual when describing how to attain it. Luck can be gained through adorning life with certain art, architecture, and clothing. As an individual, this virtue is pursued through the awar...

... middle of paper ...

...individual needs the drive and motivation to take the first step; and can call upon the society later to learn and observe how others strive to attain the GL.

"Luck." Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2014. .
Plato. "Symposium." A Plato Reader. Ed. Ronald Bartlett Levinson. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1967. 142-44. Web. 31 Oct. 2014. .
Sung, Vivien. Five-fold Happiness: Chinese Concepts of Luck, Prosperity, Longevity, Happiness, and Wealth. San Francisco: Chronicle, 2002. Web. 31 Oct. 2014. .

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