Aristotle vs Plato's View on Happiness

1768 words 8 pages
Many people try to define and consider different definitions of what happiness is, and I think that Plato and Aristotle offer interesting views of happiness and what it means for one to live a good life. Both philosophers agree that happiness is an important factor in one’s life and essentially the essence of how to live a good life. Plato offers many theories and definitions of justice leading to happiness, while Aristotle argues that happiness is the main goal that all humans aim for in their entire life. Plato offers a philosophical view of a happy life for an individual by explaining a just state and what it would entail and also the theory of the forms that one must understand to achieve happiness. After learning about both …show more content…
Plato’s theory of the forms explains a visible world and the intelligible world. The intelligible world is one where things we cannot see are: justice, wisdom, the soul, etc. I disagree with Plato on his view of the world of two realms. I think that Aristotle explains the world much better because he tackles the idea of how to be good and achieve a life of happiness in the world that we live in. However, Plato continues to argue that for a just state, a just ruler is needed and for a ruler to be just, they must have the best intentions for the citizens and also understand the forms in the intelligible realm. When one understands the forms, they will understand the highest possible form, which is good. Plato, similar to Aristotle, says that the best mind is one that is philosophical. If one understands the highest form, they will be a great ruler for the state. Aristotle similarly argues that one will lead a good life if they contemplate. Aristotle’s view of contemplation leads me to my next point.

Aristotle’s view that contemplation is the best possible life makes sense to me because it is something that we all do every day, and the thing we can do the most without taking a break. For example, an athlete cannot train forever. They must take a break eventually and rest. One that lives philosophically uses reason and never stops contemplating or thinking. Contemplation is also self-sufficient and doesn’t require equipment like other exercises may


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