Socrates and Plato on Eudaimonia - Deepstash

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What Is Eudaimonia?

Socrates and Plato on Eudaimonia

Socrates equated eudaimonia with wisdom and virtue, stating that he who is not wise cannot be happy.

Plato broadly agreed with Socrates. Plato writes that justice and injustice are to the soul as health and disease are to the body. For Plato, an unjust man cannot be happy because he is not in ordered control of himself.

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Defining Eudaimonia
Defining Eudaimonia

Eudaimonia is a term which comes from Aristotle’s work called ‘Nicomachean Ethics’ and means individual well-being and happiness. It combines the prefix eu (meaning good) ...

Plato And Eudaimonism
  • Plato believed that because we feel unhappy internally when we do something wrong, eudaimonia is the highest feeling of moral thought and behaviour where there is real happiness from within. Happiness, according to him, was about living in the pursuit of various virtues, central to flourishing.
  • Plato never mentioned the term eudaimonia, but his writings on the concept of courage, justice, wisdom and moderation point towards the same domain of wellbeing.
Aristotle And Eudaimonism

Aristotle in his many works has provided numerous interpretations of eudaimonia, explaining it as something reflecting the pursuit of virtue, excellence and the best within us. According to him, eudaimonia is a rational activity aimed at the pursuit of what is worthwhile in life.

Having an intention to be virtuous was an important factor for eudaimonia.

Melancholy in the Medieval period
Melancholy in the Medieval period

In the Medieval period, melancholic people were said to have been born 'under the sign of Saturn' that is associated with cold, shadow, and death.

But melancholy was also associated...

Melancholy and intelligence

As far as we can associate melancholy with intelligence, the melancholy person keeps fury in check and maintains hope.

  • The melancholy mind resists the temptation to respond to insults with fury or vindictiveness but seek justice while steadied by realism.
  • Melancholy people do not, like the naive, think that they have to chase after a flawless life. They don't pursue a perfect relationship or job but pay attention to the brighter moments. They can be intensely grateful and make a great deal out of a sunny day.
Our Fixation With Happiness
  • Most of us actively try to build our lives around a constant state of happiness.
  • The problem is that very few people choose to do great things or want to make an effort to achieve ...
The Meaning Of A Good Life

Maximisation of pleasure is erroneously thought to be the path towards a good life. Avoidance of pain, disappointment, injury, sickness, boredom, loneliness and sadness is what is generally pursued by all, not realizing that pain and suffering are inevitable if one is alive.

Philosophers like Epicurus claim that a good life is attained when pain is minimized. But as happiness comes with loving attachments, pain becomes inevitable and even necessary in our path towards happiness.

Life Is Nothing Without Pain

Anything good in life requires some amount of toil and suffering.

Writing a novel, preparing and eventually running a marathon, or giving birth requires sacrifice, patience, pain and suffering, eventually producing something meaningful and joyous.