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Q1) “In The Extracts, Seneca Maintains That Practising Philosophy Is Necessary For A Person To Live A Good Life. Do You Agree And Why?”

1556 words - 7 pages

Teichmann and Evans (1999, p. 1) claim that philosophy is the rational inquiry towards the universe’s conundrums of absolutes, the abstruse, existence and purpose. Though, Skirbekk and Gilje (2001, p. 92) and Belliotti (2009, p. 184) maintains, philosophy without its integral factor, virtue, a good life would be impossible. This paper will argue the reasons a personal virtuous philosophy is vital to living a good life. Concentrating on the need of virtue in philosophy, how such a philosophy can teach one the methods to achieve a good life, the development of beliefs to transform attitudes towards life for the better and philosophy as comfort to move on through distressing times; whilst ...view middle of the document...

Hence, conferring to Seneca’s beliefs, a virtuous philosophy is significant to leading a good life as it keeps one on the path of righteousness, prohibiting dawdling and harm to oneself and others.
Virtuous philosophy educates the human mind on the techniques for a good life. Seneca (Letter XC ex. 2) wrote that a virtuous philosophy teaches one to ascertain the truth of the universe, physically and spiritually, whilst enlightening a person to honour greatness, love humanity and treat others with amity. It offers penance for past faults and ways to differentiate life’s ambiguities (Seneca Nat. quest. ex. 1-2). Therefore, it allows one to “… distinguish between truth and falsehood … [and] be able to judge whether [an] argument is valid or not” (Sellars 2006, p. 54), so that one can make more educated choices in life, leading to a life of less regret. With this consensus, one would then be able to appreciate the littlest of joys in life and filling oneself with the bliss of helping others. Receiving a peace of mind in the quest for answers about the fundamentals of life. These benefits in practising virtuous philosophy then is essential to affirm a good life.
Philosophy is a belief and a way of life, with virtue, it brings noble meaning and hence, fulfilment to our existence. As Seneca (Nat. quest. ex 4-5) proclaims, “If I had not been admitted to these [philosophical] studies, it would not have been worthwhile being born … What a pitiful thing is man unless he rises above human concerns!” Sellars (2006, p. 36) confirms that philosophy was established as the education on the method for the soul to undergo metamorphosis, so that a person may cleanse it and come closer to turning into his idolised being; therefore causing the person’s way of life to alter, suiting his soul’s changes. With this transformation, one’s beliefs and actions would then bring about great changes to the world. For example, Stoicism’s belief that, as every person had reason, no matter king or slave, everyone was equal and part of a universal family, this belief brought considerable developments of slaves’ positions (Campbell 1969, p. 20; Skirbekk & Gilje 2001, p. 96; Perry et al. 2009, pp. 113-114). Therefore, in agreement with Seneca, virtuous philosophy allows one to find meaning to life, to search for deeper understanding of one’s being and surroundings to become a better, wiser person. Enriching one’s soul and life, becoming a mindset that can change the world, and brings a sense of fulfilment and accomplishment that gives one a worthwhile, good, life.
Solace comes to those that train in philosophy, even when all hope seems lost. Seneca (Letter XC ex. 33-34) described philosophers as people who “ … [have] taught us not just to recognise but obey the gods, and accept all that happens exactly as if it were an order from above”. Explaining that a way to cope with the various adversities in life is to accept fate. As the universe follows a law of reason, a person’s life is...

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