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Purpose and Meaning of Life for Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 645

Essay

Aristotle and Plato were protégés of Socrates who was a philosopher in the ancient times in Athens. Plato was a student of Socrates while Aristotle was a student of Plato. Boeree reports that both Plato and Aristotle took over the study of life after their lecturers died (pg 20). Socrates and Plato believed in the power of the mind and also idealism while Aristotle believed in science.

Socrates

Socrates suggested that the things that people consider as good acts are not good because it is said by the Gods but because they are useful to people in every one’s efforts to be happier and better. This still means and meant that ethics in life does not mean surveying the scriptures or gods for bad or good, but focusing on life. Socrates placed every one’s conscience way above the set laws, rules and regulations. Socrates suggested that people should do the things that make them happy for them to live their lives as it is meant to be. The philosophies he invented were rejected by the political and religious leaders in Athens and the philosophies gave them a good reason to kill him. Boeree reports that Socrates was killed because he believed that a person becomes what he wants to become (pg 30). This means that if a person wants good life then the things that make him happy, content, joyous, and conscientious are the things he should do because they will keep him a live for a very long time.

Plato

Plato was a very good student of Socrates’. He followed into the footsteps of his lecturer and carried on with philosophy about life. Plato states that, “(I) do to others as I would they should do to me.” Here he meant that people are divided into two; the ideal self and phenomena; which are physical appearances (space, time and matter). Plato suggests that the ideal self makes people to do good to themselves and also to other people because it is what makes a person live fully and also to enjoy life. Boeree suggested that the power of the brain is very strong a compared to the power of senses which does not fully help a person to live right (pg 40). Plato also suggests that the brain helps a person grow intellectually; the soul helps a person to be conscientious and have a connection to God while the heart loves deeply even when physical contact is not available

Aristotle

Aristotle believed in matter and the essence that makes matter real. Aristotle suggested that actualization is when a person looks at what matter is made of, the energy or the motion that changes matter, the essence or form and lastly the purpose or reason or the intention of the matter. Crutz reports that Aristotle also came up with three souls in his philosophy; plant soul and nutrition was its basic essence, animal soul whose essence was pain, pleasure, desire, and motion while the last soul was the human soul whose essence was reason (pg 57). Crutz also suggested Aristotle’s philosophy of desire can sometimes be wrong because it focuses on the present pleasure while reason has its focus on the consequences the present pleasure might cause in future (pg 59). Reason has logic of time.

All the above great philosophers had a great perspective on life. In a combination of the three philosophies, it is clear that people need to do the things that keep them happy because staying happy is what makes a person feel good about life. It is also clear for people to know that the power of their brains in stronger than that phenomena. Man has a greater thinking and reasoning capacity as compared to animals.

Works Cited

Boeree C. George. The Ancient Greeks, Part Two: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. California: Berkley University Press, 2009.

Crutz L. Lissa. What is life according to Athens Philosophers? New York: APA Press, 2008.

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