The metaphysics of virtue



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Texas Tech University


Plato is, without question, a true genius of philosophical thought. His philosophical work began as a virtual scribe to Socrates as he learned from the master himself. During his years of training, Plato created his own philosophical style that went well beyond the simple question and answer technique that was his teacher's favorite tool. Plato constructed elaborate theories, wrote brilliant dialogues and developed useful argument patterns that pronounced him as being both a great philosophical thinker and a writer of almost poetic philosophical prose. Although his dialogues do not necessarily spell out his theories in the recondite style that is the trademark of most contemporary philosophical pundits, Plato's thoughts still come through clear and beautifully. Also, his use of analogies allows for the reader to gain personal comprehension of the subject matter to the greatest degree. Lastly, his breadth of philosophical vision extends into most every category of thought, therefore making his legacy a comprehensive examination of philosophy.

One of the greatest works written by Plato is the Republic. This dialogue touches most every topic of philosophical thought and is a wealth of wisdom for every reader. The main intent of the dialogue was to discover the value of living a just life over an unjust life. Another dialogue of Plato's, the Gorgias. also deals with the rewards of a virtuous existence, as well as making the argument that the life of virtue will be far more happier than any other choice of life. For this paper, I will explore the Republic, with backup support from the Gorgias/ in an attempt to discover the truth about the claim that virtuous existence will be both the happiest and the best life that one could live. I hope to formulate objective conclusions about the virtuous life being the best, and that such an existence will inevitably bring about the most happiness.