preview

Essay On Socrates On Happiness

Good Essays
The pursuit of happiness is a timeless and ageless endeavor. Since the beginning of time people have searched far and wide for the source of happiness. Even the greatest minds attempt to discover the basis of all human contentment. The father of philosophy, Socrates, was one of those few that might have unearthed the key to human happiness. His understanding shaped the way that the western world sees pleasure, joy, and happiness. His views on how to obtain them are still alive today. Socrates lived in Athens, Greece for the entirety of his life (B.C. 469-399). His main objective in life was to teach people how to think critically about questions concerning truth, justice, and happiness. He believed that an unexamined life is a life not…show more content…
He recommended gaining a rational control over one’s desires, these desires being those that can be harmful to life such as: lust, greed, pride, and power. He argued that the key to human happiness is to turn away from the body and towards the soul. He said that harmonizing the different parts of the soul would produce a divine-like state of inner tranquility that the external world could not alter. A moral life is to be preferred to an immoral life. This view of happiness is linked to other concepts such as justice, virtue, and the ultimate meaning of human existence. Living a moral and just life would lead to a happier life. In the Euthydemus (which was written by Plato in B.C. 384), Socrates presents an argument as to what happiness is. Socrates is concerned with establishing two main points:
1) Happiness is what all human beings/rational beings desire. It is always the end (goal) of our activities, it is an unconditional good.
2) Happiness does not solely depend on external things, but rather on how those particular things are used.
For example, a wise human being will use their money in a way that will benefit them or make them happy. An ignorant person on the other hand will be wasteful and use their money poorly and thus ending up even worse than before. This example shows us that money, in and of itself, will not make us happy. But rather, money is a conditional good but only when it is in the hands of the wise person. This argument can be used in
Get Access