The Good Life

Topics: Virtue, Plato, Love Pages: 4 (1381 words) Published: December 6, 2011
The good life is a condition in which a person will be the most happy. Both Plato and Aristotle see the good life as the state in which a person exhibits total virtue. Plato reasons that a person will exhibit total virtue when his desires have been extinguished, while Aristotle believes the perfect state will bring forth the virtue in men. Plato argues that the good life springs from love because through love, men can rid themselves of desires. That is not to say that every loving relationship creates the good, only that love is actually the quest for that good. Aristotle argues that the good life is different for each individual because it comes from living one's life according to one's virtues, and each person has different virtues. While both Plato and Aristotle agree that good life is the exhibition of perfect virtue, they disagree on the particular definition of virtue, and it's relevance to happiness, and therefore disagree on the means of attaining happiness. Plato sees the good life as being attained through the perfect love and lack of desire, while Aristotle believes that the good life is achieved through a perfect state which causes its citizens to act upon their virtues. The original Platonic view of the world is that it is a two tiered place, the upper tier being the world of perfection, the lower tier being the world of reality, and love falling somewhere in between. The theory is that the plane of reality is an imperfect copy of the plane of perfection. According to the Platonic view, humans only see glimpses of the good while existing in the plane of reality. Plato believes that love is the midpoint between reality and perfection, mortality and immortality. Love does not fall into the sphere of immortals and perfection because how could love be a god if he is not in possession of beautiful and good things? (Plato, 38). Since Love is the love of beautiful things, Love must have desires and therefore cannot be a god (Plato, 36). Yet Love is greater...
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