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Great philosophers and lives well lived essay

How Should I Live? If I am to live a considered life, I cannot but reflect that I am not alone. From my birth through my upbringing, my existence has been shaped, not just by my own experiences and thinking, but by my interaction with the lives of others. Most closely, with family, where one great philosophers and lives well lived essay constantly reminded of the continuum of a network of relationships. My sense of myself and my own place in the world is tempered by my awareness of others, of the lives they lead, their thoughts and feelings.

My concern to lead a good life is, therefore, not solely about myself, but embedded in my concern for others. In the process of trial and error which characterises our existence, I seek to learn, to develop my understanding, but I do so in a continuous dialogue, refining beliefs and attitudes, being assertive when required, attentive to alternatives, tolerant of misunderstandings, and changing when necessary.

As I explore the richness of human life, I travel hopefully, with the expectation that a sensitive, thoughtful and peaceable approach brings abundant rewards. My ambition for a full and complete life lies not in the accumulation of material wealth, much as I can enjoy the comforts of civilisation, but rather in the quality of experiences and relationships that arrive, in friendship and in love. If I can live more in line with my needs, as against indulging my wants, and if my style of living is more attuned to a sustainable environment, then I can better resist the temptations of greed and selfishness which threaten human civilisation.

How Should I Live?

As I work to live as simply as I can in a complex world, I can sit more lightly on the earth, and influence others to do the same. If I mix optimism with realism, I can do good in small measures — modest but worthwhile. David Howard, Church Stretton, Shropshire Eight years into my eighth decade of crafting this pursuit of living, I have some perspective on both faith and reason.

Fifty years and more of ordained acting out the faith I have reason to claim, make me adamant about heartfelt adherence to love and undaunted faithfulness to rational discipleship. And current adjunct activity for my Methodist alma mater in classes that confront undergraduates with life questions introduced by Philosophy 101, convinces me the more that I should use my head and live from my heart.

Living Well, According To Some Of The Wisest People Who Ever Lived

So with intention I would live a reasonably faithful life formed and informed by a faithfully reasonable self-understanding. Slover, Farmington, Missouri How I should live and how I do live are not necessarily the same; but having aspirations and trying to live up to them is a good starting point. So the following is how I aspire to live. The most important point is that no one lives in isolation.

From our earliest experiences we interact with others, and the quality of our lives is largely dependent on that interaction. Beyond this, everyone seeks happiness, and in modern Western societies this universal goal is taken for granted. The corollary to this is therefore that a life without failure is a life not worth living. This is reflected in virtually every story told: And this is why storytelling is universally appealing.

In any relationship, familial, work-related, contractual or whatever, either both parties are satisfied or both are dissatisfied. There is an old Chinese saying, possibly Confucian in origin: A true leader knows that their leadership is not about their achievements: I believe each of us seeks happiness, by which I mean a more or less persistent state of general physical, mental, and emotional well-being, characterized by enjoyment of life.

We should enjoy living. But happiness is attained not by pursuing it directly, but through activities that bring it about. These activities differ from person to person. Happiness is had by individuals, but we are social animals, and so we can achieve it only within society.

  1. In any relationship, familial, work-related, contractual or whatever, either both parties are satisfied or both are dissatisfied.
  2. How Should I Live?
  3. There, he started writing down the hundred or so lively, rambling pieces which he called his Essays — a word he coined from essayer.

This means being moral: The first requirement here is to do no harm. Others will not accept harm to themselves, and will harm you back. Next, we should always try to be just to everyone, for we want justice for ourselves.

We can always avoid unnecessary deliberate harm to all others, and we can always act with the intention of justice to everyone, if we understand what justice requires. Beyond duty is love. Love is wanting another to be happy. It naturally motivates our doing good for others. We can fulfill our duties to everyone; but we cannot love, that is, help, everyone.

  1. One of the factors that the Calculus takes into account is the duration of the happiness that an action will produce; it also acknowledges the pain that may result from it. The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior.
  2. Beyond this, everyone seeks happiness, and in modern Western societies this universal goal is taken for granted. And this is why storytelling is universally appealing.
  3. To find balance between our various emotions, behaviours and attitudes is how we should live, then. We all certainly prefer to be healthy than unhealthy, but health is nothing but the harmony among different parts of the body, each carrying out its proper function.
  4. What does it mean to live a good life? Positive pleasure depends on pain because it is nothing but the removal of pain.

So how should we live? Be just to everyone. Love and help others as I can. The broad outline is clear. The devil is in the details. John Talley, Rutherfordton, North Carolina Humanity should live in a way that helps everyone achieve the goal of happiness.

One of the factors that the Calculus takes into account is the duration of the happiness that an action will produce; it also acknowledges the pain that may result from it. However, living a happy life does not mean a life of over-indulgence, any more than it means the other extreme, of abstaining from actions that promote happiness. To seek happiness in a balanced way would fulfil our basic function as human beings, as argued by Aristotle, which is to act in accordance with virtue and reason.

To find balance between our various emotions, behaviours and attitudes is how we should live, then: This way of living involves balancing our deficiencies, for example shyness, with the over excess of their opposites, in this case vanity.

The mean of these two vices is proper pride, and therefore to Aristotle, proper pride is a virtue.

  • His life was unremarkable;
  • Does human life have a purpose or end goal?
  • Similarly, an intelligent person can be an even worse criminal than an unintelligent one;
  • Similarly, an intelligent person can be an even worse criminal than an unintelligent one;
  • However, living a happy life does not mean a life of over-indulgence, any more than it means the other extreme, of abstaining from actions that promote happiness.

And that is how I ought to live. Harriet Strachan, Zurich Most of us want to live well, but we are often mistaken about how to do so.

And the neurotic who constantly worries about things outside of his control is not living well even if he believes he is. However, we have a nature that defines the real parameters for a flourishing life: The drug addict is not living as well or happily as he could, nor can he choose to do so until he adopts a lifestyle that actualizes his human nature. So, how should we live? To live well, we should listen to former drug addicts, former neurotics, and wise elders.

That is, to live well we should love wisdom philo sophia in Greek. From the Stoics, we can learn to distinguish between what is in our control and what is not, and to avoid investing our hopes in what is not in our control. This can free us from many neurotic behaviors. From some religions, such as Buddhism, we can learn stillness, and realize the interconnectedness of all things. Empathy and community grow from these insights, which in turn nourish some of the deepest forms of happiness and human actualization.

From Epicurus, we learn how to avoid vain desires, and to not give in to the advertisers and emotions that create them. So we learn to live a simple and deeply meaningful life built around relationships, clean living, and reflection. From Socrates and Plato, we learn to use the Socratic Method of persistent enquiry, which leads to humility, wisdom, and provides ways to cultivate health and virtue, where health is the harmony of the great philosophers and lives well lived essay, and virtue is the harmony of the soul or mind.

From Aristotle, we learn moderation and how to cultivate virtuous habits. These examples are a taste for the wisdom found in philosophy. So, we should live well; and this means we should study philosophy. I loved his idea of moral rules discernible through rational thought.

Perhaps it was the appeal of some sort of objective right and wrong, or perhaps the exciting idea that morality was mine to discover intellectually. How could I treat everyone as an end-in-themselves? As I experienced more of the world, doing different jobs, getting married and having children, I came to realise the world was too vast for my brain to comprehend: This is not a lapse into cultural relativism. I think there are universal wrong ways to live, even if there are no universally-applicable good ways.

To live in this pluralistic way requires empathy.

Montaigne, philosopher of life, part 1: How to live

So I try to know as much as I can to help me empathise. I watch the news and read the papers. I do not shy away from the unpleasant or complicated things in life. The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior. So that is how I try to live. Facing the world with my emotions and an open mind, hoping this helps me to make the best decisions I can make, and knowing that just because someone see the world differently to me does not mean they are not aiming for the good life too.

Also, living in this empathic pluralistic way allows me to tell my daughter that Santa is real — something that Kant would have had none of. David Byron, Bristol Implicit in the question is a more specific question: How should I answer? I often think the finest truths and guidance are succinct. Below are only four of my attempts at answering this most vital of questions, tempered by the restrictions of haiku: