Essay about Socrates And Aristotle 's Moral Theories

1155 Words Oct 14th, 2015 null Page
Socrates and Aristotle have many similarities in their moral theories. They both believe that a virtuous person acts justly and those just actions are good. They also agree that living a virtuous life will bring about happiness; however, their theories drift apart when defining what moral aspects are needed to live virtuously. Socrates believes that knowledge is the key to living the just life, which will bring happiness; as long as someone is doing the right thing, happiness will come, regardless of the pleasure or pain they feel. Aristotle differs from this theory because he shows the pleasure and pain influence our actions, which will then influence our happiness. Socrates’ theory is optimistic because he shows that happiness is completely in our control; however, Aristotle 's is a more realistic model of how people behave in the real world because he acknowledges that pleasure influences our actions, so a happy life must also be filled with pleasure. First, Socrates’ definition of happiness is optimistic since he claims that happiness is exclusively dependent on one’s controllable actions, so anyone can achieve it. Socrates argues with Callicles over the definition of a good and happy man and says, “The good man does well and admirable whatever he does, and that the corrupt man, the one who does badly is miserable.” A good man is going to act properly at all times while a corrupt man will act poorly and thus will be unhappy. If acting poorly makes us sad, then…

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