Finding Happiness In Plato's The Republic, And Aristotle

1943 Words 8 Pages
As Epictetus once said, “We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” The search for what is just or what is right has become so prominent that it overshadows the search for actual happiness. Although some believe that achieving happiness can be a challenge due to obstructions that occur in life, it is possible for everyone to find happiness. However, Plato, in The Republic, and Aristotle, in Ethics, show that happiness can be obtained by finding harmony between justice, friendship, and morality.
What is the goal and main purpose of life? Some say to become rich and famous, some say to get an education, and some say to travel the world.
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Aristotle states that “…friendship and justice concern the same things and are present in the same things; for in every sort of community there seems to be something just, and also friendship.” (Ethics: Book 8, pg. 154). On the topic of friendship, Aristotle describes the three different types that occur. “…there is a reciprocal loving which one is not unaware of, and those who love one another wish for good things for one another in the same sense in which they love…” (Ethics: Book 8, pg. 146). This is the first type of friendship that was defined. Put simply, that type of friendship is the kind where the feelings are mutual, whether be it romantically or otherwise. This kind of friendship is essential for happiness; these are the friends who love you with a love that is full and complete, they are the friends that wish the best for you and you wish the best for them as well. The second type of friendship is defined as the “…friendships of an incidental kind, since it is not insofar as the one loved is the very person he is that he is loved, but insofar as he provides, in the one case, something good…” (Ethics: Book 8, pg. 146). Here Aristotle is saying that the second type of friendship is the ones that come up accidentally and are somewhat plastic friendships. These friendships are the ones that are easily perishable when one of the two people change, or a disagreement occurs. The third type of friendship is stated as, “the sort of friendship that is for the useful…” (Ethics: Book 8, pg. 147). This is the type of friendship that is only kept around because it is helpful or useful. Friendships like these could be similar to friendships with coworkers whose ranks are above you, or friendships with people in your classes. You don’t talk to them outside of class or outside of work, but whenever you are together you talk. These friendships are

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