Epictetus, Aristotle and Boethius on happiness

Compare and contrast two conceptions of happiness that we have looked at and tell me what you see as the strength and weaknesses of their views. Tell me who you think is wiser (and tell me why you think they are wiser and closer to the definition of true happiness).

Epictetus, Aristotle and Boethius on happiness !1This lecture is a slight detour away from Lady Philosophy and The Consolation of Philosophy. However it gives us some important background to notions of happiness that Lady Philosophy will use and criticize. Before you begin to read the lecture I want to prepare you with some of the questions that you should be able to address at the end of the reading. 1.What is Epictetus’ definition of happiness? 2.What is Aristotle’s definition of happiness? 3.What is the definition of happiness offered by Lady Philosophy in the Consolation of Philosophy?4.If you have three different definitions of happiness, what criteria can you use to decide which definition is better? (Note that this is a “meta” question, a question about a question. As we learned in the Miller book, it is a second order question.) a.Is it possible for a conception of happiness to be wrong? This is a sub question. 5.On any of the three definitions above is happiness attainable? Available always? Available sometimes? Available never? 6.On any of these definition is happiness attainable given bad fortune? a.Is life tragic in that happiness can be ruined by external events? b.Can a hero of virtue find happiness and rise untouched and unsullied above all tragedy?

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