Friday, April 29, 2016
Happiness: Plato Vs Aristotle
Pervious report: http://cophilosophy.blogspot.com/2016/04/1st-report-happiness.html
In my first report I concluded that happiness is very hard to define because of how people are different and because of how happiness means different to everyone. A new car can mean happiness to one person, while spending time with family can mean happiness to another. When looking at Aristotle's view on happiness, one can conclude that happiness depends on ourselves in the social context. For Aristotle, happiness is to live a life virtue, and to keep practicing becoming virtuous. for example, to become generous, a person needs to practice generous acts. If we look at Plato's perspective on happiness, we will find that Aristotle and Plato had a lot of similarities and differences on that topic.
Both philosophers were similar on the idea that happiness depend on ourselves. According to plato, "The man who makes everything that leads to happiness depends upon himself, and not upon other men, has adopted the very best plan for living happily. This is the man of moderation, the man of manly character and of wisdom." Also Aristotle once said that "happiness depend on ourselves."Plato, who was the teacher of Aristotle, also believed in the life of virtue. For Plato, the idea of virtue rests on four cardinal traits: wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice. Plato seemed to hold his teacher's (Socrates) conception of virtue that wisdom is a virtue. For Plato, wisdom is the root of becoming virtuous. For a person to do good is to know good. Plato seemed to believe that if a person is really wisdom, other virtues will follow.
While viewing happiness through living a virtuous life, both Aristotle and Plato were different on how we achieve them. Both seemed to disagree on how we can be virtuous. Plato believed that by being wisdom we can become virtuous, while Aristotle believed that we had to do something about it. For Aristotle, knowing good was not enough to make us good. He believed to seem that we have to know what is good, and practice it. Also, he believed that although virtue is important to having a good life, it doesn't guarantee it. For Example, a person can be virtuous but still unhappy.
In summation, i tend to believe more with Aristotle. A person can not just know what makes him or her happy and just become happy; it is very important to practice being happy. I also think every that being virtuous play a big rule on us to become happy with the exception of the external factors that ruins our happiness. I also believe that there are many ways to make ourselves happy, and one of these ways is to not rely on others. Finally, i would like to conclude my paper with a very good quote by Stacey Carter: The man who makes everything that leads to happiness depends upon himself, and not upon other men, has adopted the very best plan for living happily. This is the man of moderation, the man of manly character and of wisdom."