Socrates/Epicurus Essay assignment
Virtue is necessary for happiness, and virtue is sufficient for happiness, thinks Socrates. You may not be a supermodel, or the most financially successful person in the world, but if you are honest, wise, fair, courageous and self-controlled, your life and character will merit praise and respect. If you go beyond common sense and skill yourself in reason, you can become truly wise. If you cultivate courage, wisdom, justice and self-control throughout your entire life, then even if you achieve nothing else, you will have lived a truly meaningful life.
Do you agree with Socrates or disagree? Why or why not? What kind of knowledge and virtue is required for a meaningful life? Why?
For Epicurus, happiness is linked to your pleasure (or really, your freedom from pain). By cultivating pleasures that avoid subsequent pain, we can live a good life. We need three goods: friends, time to think, and self-sufficiency. Without these, we can never be happy, even if we are virtuous people (lonely, starving, persons with terrible bosses).
What do you agree with in Epicurus? What do you think he gets wrong about happiness? This might be a good time to think of examples from the documentary.
Lastly, compare Socrates and Epicurus. What ideas do they share? And what do you think about the ideas they have in common?
Write a 3-FULL-PAGES page paper, double-spaced, normal margins, and 11 point font. MINIMAL QUOTES! EVERYTHING IN YOUR OWN WORDS! Only use ideas from the de Botton and Baggini book AND NO OTHER SOURCE other than your own critical mind. DO NOT COPY FROM THE SLIDES. If you use ONE or TWO QUOTES (no more than that allowed), after quoting, explain the quote in your own words, explain how it applies to your ideas being expressed. Make sure to have an opening paragraph with a thesis statement and a conclusion as well.
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