At this point in Socrates and Callicles discussion, they arrive at a point of debating whether or not happiness involves self-indlugence and pleasure. Callicles asserts that a superior man is one who can fulfill all his desires. For a man to be self-disciplined he has to have let his desires grow to the fullest extent until they can grow no longer and do what it takes to satisfy them. That way, the man is able to satisfy all desires and reach self-discipline. Socrates begins to refuse Callicles claims by asking him then if it’s true that those who do not want are not happy. Callicles jokes that only a stone would ever be happy then.

Socrates goes on to refute Callicles claims using a short analogy to show a difference between a self-controlled person and a self-indulgent person. Both persons have their own set of jars, a self-controlled person fills up their jars until they are full and then no longer has anything to worry about. However, the self-indulgents persons jar is leaky and cracked and he is constantly having to keep up and refill his jars to keep himself happy. This shows how a self-indulgent person has to keep satisfying himself and it is never ending. Why Callicles claims that reaching all points of desire is a happy man, Socrates analogy clearly shows that a person who practices self-restrain is much more happy because he practices good self-discipline and is able to satisfy his wants but not to access that makes his happiness not happiness.

I agree with Socrates because of the analogy, that a person who practices good self-discipline is much happier than one who satisfy’s all his desires. A self-indulgent person almost tricks himself into believing he is happy because he wants and desires and is always able to work to indulge in those desires. However, a self-restrained person who also wants and desires is able to satisfy the desires, just not as much as the over-indulgent person, but the self-restrained person does not always have to work and worry about how he will satisfy his desires.

I do agree though with Callicles that happy people also want things, because only a stone or corpse would ever not want. However, self-disciplined people want but not at the extreme, uncontrollable level of those who are self-indulgent.

Advertisements