This Independent study will focus on the search for the good life, that is, how one should conduct themselves in the world to live well. It is divided into four main chapters, which consider answers to this question from the Buddhist, ancient Greek and modern Western philosophical perspectives.

The first chapter accounts for the Buddhist tradition by discussing the presuppositions of Indian philosophy, followed by a presentation of the ideal life: nirvana and the achievement of ultimate wisdom.

The second chapter will inspect Epicureanism, an ancient Greek form of hedonism, where the good life is achieved through the fulfillment of desires. I will then compare and contrast Buddhism and Epicurean hedonism.

The third chapter will take into account Jainism, an ancient school of Indian thought that illustrates a means of asceticism, where one relinquishes their desires entirely.

Finally, I will compare all three of these theories, and present an argument for a path to the good life built upon these three path philosophies.


Schiltz, Elizabeth



Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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