I don’t know what living a good life means - people say being honest, truthful, generous, or to possess and practice many of the most important virtues. But all these things depend upon the way we think.
Is there any standard answer for this question in philosophy?
Every human being aspires to live a good life. The problem is, we all define the phrase “good life” differently. Some are looking to live an honest life, full of integrity, joy and happiness. Others seek wealth, social status and fame, as they hope these aspects will help them to live the good life. In fact, they directly associate the good life with money and material belongings.
There is more to this question than meets the eye. Both ‘good’ and ‘life’ are abstract terms. You can only experience good and experience life. In an abstract form both ‘good’ and ‘life’ can be given any meaning depending on the philosopher and depending on the person. One person may think rain at this moment does his life good, while another may find this bad.
Basically good and bad are abstract forms from a more concrete form in which the meaning is palpable. Goods (things that have use to people) as in ‘to go’ have a purpose as if going somewhere while bad relates to static (not going somewhere) concrete terms like bath (in which you lie down) and bed (in which you lie down). Besides ethics ‘good’ found its way into health terminology as a metaphore too. When you are able to go, you are good, while when you ‘fell’ sick you feel bad. So it depends in which context you apply ‘good’ as a linguistic concept.
The word life has a similar relationship to walking (German laufen). Its antonym is a near anagram; fall. One of the methods before writing to easily distinguish between antonyms. Just turn the phonetic elements around. An easy mnemonic. So as long as you are alive (on your feet) and you act with purpose, that might be one way of interpreting the basic linguistic elements of ‘good life’. But mind this is philosofied from a comparative view and historical linguists would most probably disagree with this hypothesis on the fact that there is no written proof of the connections I give in this post. So applying meanings to words in philosophy is an experience. In essence you yourself decide what is a good life for you. Philosophy can not answer your question but encourages you to keep asking and searching for the answer that fits you most. Good life!
We can also look at ‘truth’ and ‘lies’ and compare them to ‘tred’ and ‘lying in bed. I remember from an etymology class that emotion contains motion which also shows the metaphore of purpose and going within the realm of names for feelings. Emotions ‘move’ you too.