Hypothetical Dinner Conversation Between Aristotle, Epicurus, Hobbes, And Epictetus

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The view of happiness as well as the role that pleasures and desires play in achieving happiness can be seen throughout Western philosophy. Detailing a hypothetical dinner conversation between Aristotle, Epicurus, Hobbes, and Epictetus, will such an understanding be described. In such an account, I will be detailing: what issue/s each guest would raise; what thesis would each defend, and how each would respond to the other; as well as who is most likely to disagree with whom and on which points, and who, on the other hand, might find allies or sympathizers.

Each philosopher defines/views happiness differently. Aristotle defines happiness as an activity of the soul in accordance to virtue and reason. For Epicurus, happiness is seen as something both attainable and in your control through his
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To begin, Aristotle describes pleasure as something desired by everyone, considered bad and something to be avoided by people who are selfish in seeking that pleasure. As noted in Nicomachean Ethics, pleasure is something chosen for the sake of happiness, in hopes of proving beneficial to it. Epicurus chimes in, describing pleasure as something natural, enduring pain in order to be led towards a greater pleasure. He remarks how pleasure means not having bodily pain nor a troubling soul. Pleasure represents our first native good as well as playing the major role in our decisions and is in the absence of pain. In his work, “Letter to Menoeceus,” Epicurus describes how “While therefore all pleasure because it is naturally akin to us is good, not all pleasure is should be chosen, just as all pain is an evil and yet not all pain is to be shunned” (Letter to Menoeceus 2). Hobbes, finally entering the conversation, depicts pleasure in ”The Elements of Law Natural and Politic,” as that which brings oneself close to the thing that is pleasing or away from the thing that is displeasing (The Elements of Law Natural and Politic, Chapter Seven

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