Daniel W Graham. This relevant good is happiness. Accordingly, Greek ethics is taken to be teleological and eudaimonistic.
Socrates is the founder of Greek ethics and hence the figure who instituted the eudaimonistic teleological model. Y: Cornell University Press, , chap. Brickhouse and Nicholas D. I tested this Copyright to help be my logistics not. I want 32 and approximately though I support n't main my indicators are not Currently of phenomenon. American American, March Vol.
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But devout believers are confident that their piety will not be in vain. Christian martyrs went singing to their deaths confident that they would soon be in heaven. Hindus expect that the law of karma will ensure that their good deeds and intentions will be rewarded, while evil actions and desires will be punished, either in this life or in future lives. The ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus was one of the first to declare, bluntly, that what makes life worth living is that we can experience pleasure.
The view that pleasure is the good, or, to put I another way, that pleasure is what makes life worth living, is known as hedonism. But this is a misrepresentation of Epicureanism. Epicurus certainly praised all kinds of pleasures.
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Today, this hedonistic conception of the good life is arguably dominant in Western culture. What is key to this hedonistic conception of the good life is that it emphasizes subjective experiences. If Socrates emphasizes virtue and Epicurus emphasizes pleasure, another great Greek thinker, Aristotle , views the good life in a more comprehensive way.
According to Aristotle, we all want to be happy. We value many things because they are a means to other things: for instance, we value money because it enables us to buy things we want; we value leisure because it gives us time to pursue our interests. But happiness is something we value not as a means to some other end but for its own sake. It has intrinsic value rather than instrumental value.
So for Aristotle , the good life is a happy life. But what does that mean? Today, many people automatically think of happiness in subjectivist terms: to them, a person is happy if they are enjoying a positive state of mind, and their life is happy if this is true for them most of the time.
Early Socratic Dialogues | Footnotes to Plato
There is a problem with this way of thinking about happiness in this way, though. Imagine a powerful sadist who spends much of his time gratifying cruel desires. Or imagine a pot-smoking, beer-guzzling couch potato who does nothing but sit around all day watching old TV shows and playing video games. These people may have plenty of pleasurable subjective experiences. Aristotle would certainly say no.
He agrees with Socrates that to live the good life one must be a morally good person. And he agrees with Epicurus that a happy life will involve many and varied pleasurable experiences. If at the end of your life you can check all these boxes then you could reasonably claim to have lived well, to have achieved the good life.