Journal of Philosophical Investigations

Document Type : Research Paper



Classical schools of ethics in general and that of Plato in particular are characterized by Eudemonism.The basic doctrine of Eudeminism is that man’s ultimate goal is to attain happiness; and all man’s activities make sense in the light of this lofty goal. It is usually said that moral virtue paves the way to attain happiness; but relation between the two should be studied closely and in more details.
     In the present article, to depict relation between virtue and happiness as viewed by Plato, two hypotheses have been presented. According to hypothesis of identity, virtue is considered as identical with happiness; while according to the hypothesis of sufficiency, virtue and happiness are two different things; and acquisition of one of them (virtue) is a preliminary step towards acquisition of the other (happiness). In Plato’s works, one may find evidence for both of the above hypotheses; but none of them is able by, itself, to explain his view concerning this matter.To understand Plato’s position in this regard, one has to make a synthesis of the two hypotheses.