Defining happiness and what makes a good life philosophy essay

It characterized itself mainly as a philosophical-medical school, blending PythagoreanPlatonicCynicand Stoic elements together. You stir man to take pleasure in praising you, because you have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you. This is joy grounded in you, O God, who are the truth.

Defining happiness and what makes a good life philosophy essay

As a result he devotes more space to the topic of happiness than any thinker prior to the modern era.

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Living during the same period as Mencius, but on the other side of the world, he draws some similar conclusions. That is, happiness depends on the cultivation of virtuethough his virtues are somewhat more individualistic than the essentially social virtues of the Confucians. Yet as we shall see, Aristotle was convinced that a genuinely happy life required the fulfillment of a broad range of conditions, including physical as well as mental well-being.

Essentially, Aristotle argues that virtue is achieved by maintaining the Mean, which is the balance between two excesses. For Aristotle the mean was a method of achieving virtue, but for Buddha the Middle Path referred to a peaceful way of life which negotiated the extremes of harsh asceticism and sensual pleasure seeking.

The Middle Path was a minimal requirement for the meditative life, and not the source of virtue in itself. Aristotle is one of the greatest thinkers in the history of western science and philosophy, making contributions to logic, metaphysics, mathematics, physics, biology, botany, ethics, politics, agriculture, medicine, dance and theatre.

He was a student of Plato who in turn studied under Socrates. Aristotle was the first to classify areas of human knowledge into distinct disciplines such as mathematics, biology, and ethics. Some of these classifications are still used today, such as the species-genus system taught in biology classes.

He was the first to devise a formal system for reasoning, whereby the validity of an argument is determined by its structure rather than its content.

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Consider the following syllogism: All men are mortal; Socrates is a man; therefore, Socrates is mortal. Here we can see that as long as the premises are true, the conclusion must also be true, no matter what we substitute for "men or "is mortal.

Aristotle was the founder of the Lyceum, the first scientific institute, based in Athens, Greece. According to Aristotle, this view of education is necessary if we are to produce a society of happy as well as productive individuals.

The key question Aristotle seeks to answer in these lectures is "What is the ultimate purpose of human existence? Everywhere we see people seeking pleasure, wealth, and a good reputation. But while each of these has some value, none of them can occupy the place of the chief good for which humanity should aim.

To be an ultimate end, an act must be self-sufficient and final, "that which is always desirable in itself and never for the sake of something else" Nicomachean Ethics, aand it must be attainable by man.

Aristotle claims that nearly everyone would agree that happiness is the end which meets all these requirements. It is easy enough to see that we desire money, pleasure, and honor only because we believe that these goods will make us happy.

It seems that all other goods are a means towards obtaining happiness, while happiness is always an end in itself. The Greek word that usually gets translated as "happiness" is eudaimonia, and like most translations from ancient languages, this can be misleading.

It is not something that can be gained or lost in a few hours, like pleasurable sensations. It is more like the ultimate value of your life as lived up to this moment, measuring how well you have lived up to your full potential as a human being.The series here on the good life should give you plenty to reflect on, and to study should you decide to take up the challenge and read some of the philosophical arguments about the good life for yourself, if only to refute them and come up with your own.

The philosophy of happiness is the philosophical concern with the existence, nature, and attainment of happiness. Philosophically, happiness can be understood as the moral goal of life or as an aspect of chance; indeed, in most European languages the term happiness is synonymous with luck.

Thus, philosophers usually explicate on happiness as either a state of mind, or a life that goes well for the . Introduction Happiness is probably as the old topic.

Defining happiness and what makes a good life philosophy essay

Most experts such as psychologists, philosophers, even economists concerned with the definition what is the happiness. However, there is not the concordant view for what is the happiness.

Happiness should depend on different people. Some people believe that the happiness is the good goal in life. Here ‘good life’ means a life that is good all things considered, taking account of all the values that matter in life, whether they benefit the individual or not.

Kant, for example, considered both morality and well-being to be important but distinct elements of a good life. They want to have happiness, and want to know they have a lot of it. But happiness, like air or water, is a hard thing to grasp in one’s hand.

It is intangible. Happiness is not measured by material wealth. A new car or television, a waterskiing boat or a three-level house does not equate to joyful feelings.

They are status symbols, surely, and ones that make others assume a person is happy, but they do not guarantee a happy life.

Essay on Philosophy. Research Paper on Happiness