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Consolation of philosophy, Boethius.docx

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Peter King

-Due to being on the wrong end of an argument between the senate and emperor, senate was sent to prison and executed -Boethius writes this book before he gets executed -Book opens with someone who's trying to console themselves while in prison -Boethius raises a philosophical problem of "Why don't people get what we deserve?" -Problem is that the good do poorly and the wicked go unpunished -Philosophy can be a consolation for some of the deepest problems -Good fortune seems to fall on people randomly, doesn't have rhyme or reason -Lady Philosophy provides the popular consolation: Count your blessings   Good fortune only comes with bad fortune  Good fortune, as well as bad fortune, passes -Boethius seems to reject all of these methods -The goods of fortune - money, foremost - cannot provide happiness. This is Boethius's reasoning:  Happiness is the highest good  A good that cannot be taken away is better than one that can be taken away  The goods of fortune can all be taken away -One may know or not know that goods of fortune can be taken away  If one doesn't know, they can't actually be happy  If one does know, they either care or not care  If one doesn't care, the goods of fortune aren't what makes them happy  If one does care, they will be anxious about losing them and won't be happy -Goods of fortune consist of wealth, honours, power, fame and fortune, and pleasure -The goods of fortune are a sham. What appeals to the intellect is good -The supreme good: take what the goods of fortune promise you -Five characteristics of the supreme good:  Self-sufficiency  Power  Due respect  Fair fame  Joy -Have power to secure
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