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Philosophy Terms: Justice, Happiness, Power and Virtue Essay

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Updated: May 19th, 2020


Socrates’ arguments and philosophical approaches to the purpose of human existence could best be described by analyzing the rationality behind human existence. The object, circumstance and end goal of an action plays an important role in ensuring that human actions are objectively undertaken. The fact that life is worth living can be analyzed from varied perspectives that have been assessed and revealed by the philosophical arguments of Socrates.

Socrates is of the view that justice can be undertaken through order and by adhering to predefined mechanisms of differentiating between what is right and wrong. In the view of Socrates’ philosophical arguments, disregarding orders of the superior is an unjust way of living. Socrates argues that autocratic leadership is an important structure of ensuring that the rule of law is followed and that the common good of all societal members is enhanced.

Socrates believes that avoidance of wickedness is difficult compared to the occurrence of death and many other misfortunes in life. To enhance justice, existence of war between what is wrong and right is unavoidable. Socrates’ version of justice is different from people’s ability to simply do what they consider acceptable for them. Socrates assumes that being just is undertaking actions based on one’s feelings, illusions and aspirations. Revenge emerges as an illogical alternative to justice in society. In their conclusive remarks, Socrates, Stoics and Epicureans contend that justice and doing right are synonyms and should never be issues of discussion or be undermined by juries in the society. Justice can easily be achieved when people remain optimistic and realistic to happenings in society.


Socrates, Stoics and Epicureans discuss the key pillars and principles that shape human behavior. Happiness is an aspect of human existence that is achieved through constant and intentional effort. People need to be consistent in undertaking critical steps aimed at improving the environment and the manner in which they lead their lives. Happiness is therefore not an accident. Human effort should strategically be made in order to eliminate challenges that could hinder it from the success and realization of absolute human fulfillment. Human beings need to understand the source, cause and purpose of life. Socrates points out that self confidence is an important pillar in human happiness.

People who need happiness in their lives should also strive to understand the truth behind human nature as well as conceptualizing the purpose of death in life. Error is an aspect of human nature that should never hinder people from acquiring true happiness. This argument is complemented by both Epicureans and Stoics’ beliefs that people need to understand that happiness is not only an end in itself but also the purpose and goal of life. Epicureans, Stoics and Socrates conclude that happiness is not a feeling. It is a definite and much desired state of wellbeing.

Power and virtue

Based on the argument of Socrates, desire and power are closely interlinked concepts. Tyranny of power and constant focus on enhancing human behavior is often confused with human happiness. Socrates clearly demonstrates that regardless of who is in charge of controlling any form of leadership, power and autocratic leadership are not interrelated. However, in order to reinforce the rule of law and enhance the power of an attorney, Socrates insists on the need to give the attorney legal support and ensure that he fully plays his role of enhancing the rule of law. Desire to exercise power does not translate to possessing actual power. Epicureans, Stoics and Socrates explicitly associate acquisition of knowledge with virtuousness in life. Virtues are difficult to teach though they could be acquired through intension and desire to do well and avoid evil. Unity of virtues can best be achieved by putting into good practice the good leadership skills acquired.

Differing approaches to the idea of mimesis according to Plato

The representation of nature and coexistence of both fauna and flora in the ecosystem remains to be a key issue of concern. The judgment of different works of art underlies the degree to which human nature and people are closely interrelated. Mimesis is a representation of nature and the ability of people to speak and reflect on the true happenings in the society. Education is a critical aspect and means of understanding human nature. Imitation is not the best means of ensuring that people fully understand and attain the truth about God and purpose of the creation of mankind.

Different meanings of mimesis emerge with regard to human nature. The concept of imitation, human representation and action, existence of variations and similarity of human actions, understanding the best mechanisms of expressing issues and self presentation remain to be issues of great importance.

From Aristotle’s point of view, mimesis is clearly defined by the imitation and perfection of nature. Art is both the ability to imitate human behavior and actions as well as incorporating symmetry and mathematical concepts in establishing perfection, timeliness and defining the difference between “being” and “existing”.

Both Aristotle and Plato equate mimesis to the imitation of human nature. However, Aristotle is categorical in defining the causes of human nature. In the view of Aristotle, telos, which is the ultimate good and presumed purpose or end goal of life, is explained as an important factor in the existence of mankind. People are therefore mimetic beings that often have the desire to create art work, reflect on issues and constantly work towards representing the reality on earth through other artistic means.

Both Aristotle and Plato conclude that human nature is a complex aspect that demands proper planning and daily reflection on human actions. They both contrast mimesis with the complex issue of diagesis. While Plato’s argument represents formulation of ideas, Aristotle focuses on representing the formulated philosophical ideas, embodying them and effectively linking human nature to the reality of human life.

Aphorism in the manual of Epictetus

The aphorism “only the educated are frees” is a vital and informative philosophical concept that attempts to explain the purpose, cause, reason and possible end to human nature. In view of this aphorism, the relationship between the reality and illusions that define human nature emerges as a key issue of concern. Freedom defines people’s ability to live and coexist in a free and liberal society. The concept of interconnection of knowledge with freedom underlies the relevance of aphorism. Ignorance is not a way of achieving happiness but rather, a means of human oppression.

To achieve true liberty as explained by Plato, Socrates, Stoics and Epicureans, it is evident that acquisition of knowledge plays a crucial role in determining human perception and the ultimate interpretation of all earthly happenings. Exposure and knowledge not only enable one to make rational judgment and decisions but also offer an opportunity for people to fully determine their destiny. By broadening one’s mind, education gives an individual the ability to freely use thoughts, draw informed conclusions and form individualized opinions and choices in life. My opinion on the Epicurean and Stoic views of life is that both arguments are derived from the principle which postulates that human nature shapes and defines human existence.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Philosophy Terms: Justice, Happiness, Power and Virtue." May 19, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/philosophy-terms-justice-happiness-power-and-virtue/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Philosophy Terms: Justice, Happiness, Power and Virtue'. 19 May.

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