Socrates Views on Virtue and Happiness Essay

1044 Words Dec 4th, 2007 5 Pages
There are certain truths of the world that cannot be ignored or overlooked. Many philosophers have spent countless years discussing, debating and evaluating such truths. One such influential philosopher is Socrates. Born in Athens in 469 B.C.E, he spent most of his time at the marketplace and other public places engaging in dialogues about truths of life. Among many other things, he discussed virtue and happiness and how closely they are related. According to Socrates, virtue is absolutely necessary for perfect happiness because virtue brings a type of happiness that other things could never bring. In this paper, I will explain the aforementioned idea of Socrates on virtue and happiness and through evidence from Plato's Apology which is …show more content…
One of them and the most important one is being virtuous and all the requirements of human wisdom that comes with it. And the second factor is external goods and wealth. If you have neither virtue nor wealth, then finding happiness is going to be hard. But just because you fail to acquire human wisdom and become virtuous does not mean that you cannot be happy at all. If you have no virtue, but have plenty of external wealth and external goods, you can still be happy, just not perfectly happy. If you have some virtue and some external goods, you can still be happy. If you have much virtue and no external goods, you can still be happy. But in order for a person to be perfectly happy, both factors are necessary. This explains why sometimes seemingly good people are sometimes unhappy because they lack the external goods and why sometimes seemingly bad people are sometimes happy because they have an excess of external goods. So we can draw a few conclusions from the above Socratic claims: Being virtuous guarantees you at least some happiness if nothing else and it is absolutely necessary if you are to achieve perfect happiness. But this also means that people can still be happy without being virtuous but it will never be the same happiness as perfect happiness. So, the best bet for humans is to try and be virtuous by understanding and acquiring human wisdom and recognizing one's own

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