The Consolation of Philosophy Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 30 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Consolation of Philosophy.
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True Happiness Cannot Be Taken Away

As the story opens, Boethius is depressed because he has lost everything: his freedom, his property, his good name, and, soon, his life. Philosophy comes to console him and remind him that the truly happy man cannot have his happiness taken away from him. She devises several arguments to prove her point. The first is also the most simple. If happiness is the highest good, she argues, then it is logically necessary that there can be nothing better than it. However, if happiness could be taken away, then it would not be the best possible thing; a happiness that could not be taken away would be better. One might think this argument is invalid because it equivocates on what it means for happiness to be the highest good. It is plausible to think that happiness is simply the greatest attainable good, but her...

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