In the Eudaimonia, Aristotle explores the question of living well, or the best life one can lead. Unlike modern notions of happiness, Aristotle rejects the notion that happiness is equated with pleasure, wealth, or honor. Aristotle outlines three major types of life that are essential to happiness. All three, of course, are bad choices.
“Eudaimonia” is an ancient Greek concept, translated as “happiness” in English. Its content is very different from the modern conception of happiness. Here are three essential features of eudaimonia:
Human nature is a necessary part of eudaimonia. People with eudaimonia are fully performing their functions. For example, a good sculptor performs his function by creating statues. A good knife cuts with precision. Therefore, a person exercising reason fully achieves eudaimonia. But is eudaimonia merely happiness?
This view relates to Aristotle’s early dialogues with Socrates. In one dialogue, Socrates engages a young man, Clenias, about the nature of eudaimonia. Clenias, an acquaintance of Socrates, suggests that eudaimonia is the state of being “perfectly happy.” But Socrates makes a radical break from conventional conceptions of eudaimonia. In fact, he argues that most people’s conception of eudaimonia is wrong.
Aristotle’s Eudaimonia refers to a state of being that pervades all aspects of a person’s life. Aristotle defines eudaimonia as a state of completeness, self-sufficiency, and pleasure. All of these things make life more complete, if not perfect. Eudaimonia, in essence, is the best possible state of being.
What are eudaimonia and ergon? Eudaimonia is the highest end for a human being. Ergon is the activity of the rational part of the soul that promotes well-being. Both are conditional upon human function. This is the basic argument behind Aristotle’s Eudaimonia and ergon. Aristotle argues that the higher the eudaimonia, the more ergon, and the more ergon a human is.
According to Aristotle, eudaimonia is the good performance of a characteristic function of human beings. This characteristic function is achieved by virtue. The soul’s rational activity, which follows a rational principle, is eudaimonia. Therefore, all eudaimonia activities should be performed with virtue. However, eudaimonia is not a selfish pursuit of wealth.
As a matter of fact, eudaimonia is a range of activities that necessarily involve reason. The intellectual and moral excellences that constitute eudaimonia do not come from innate talents or quickly acquired forms of knowledge. Instead, they develop from habitual reflection over a long period of time. In addition, eudaimonia is not dependent on material circumstances.
In Aristotle’s Eudaemic ethics, a person can choose to pursue their happiness by following virtue. The person who lives virtuously will experience eudaimonia. The person who is virtuous will be able to fully enjoy the benefits of eudaimonia. But the virtuous person needs some external goods in order to live a happy life.
Aristotle argues that eudaimonia is good for the state, but not for individual individuals. This means that while eudaimonia is good, striving for it does not necessarily make a person happy. In contrast, he argues that virtuous activity is pleasurable in and of itself. However, a person may find certain acts of vengeance pleasurable for their own sake.
Aristotle’s Eudaemonia argues that a person should seek the state’s eudaimonia before pursuing individual happiness. This argument is weak, since eudaimonia is not a proper end for humans. However, Aristotle does not believe that eudaimonia is the highest form of happiness.
According to Aristotle, Eudaimonia and ergon are the two ends of human life. The highest end is to attain eudaimonia, and the subordinate ends are activities that promote human well-being. The philosopher argues that in order for ethics to be normative, it must be teleological. The ‘function argument’ explains the nature of the human pursuit of eudaimonia.
Despite the distinction between ergon and eudaimonia, it is important to note that they are not the same things. Aristotle’s concept of eudaimonia suggests that the best possible life is composed of the highest number of goods. In other words, the ultimate end is the sum of all these goods. Specifically, Aristotle indicates that a person should enjoy good friends, experiences pleasure, receive honor, and acquire external goods.
Eudaimonia refers to “doing well.” The synonyms for eudaimonia include living a good life. In other words, happiness is a state of mind. While happiness is associated with good things, eudaimonia is a universal judgment of the best life. So, it’s worth examining the distinction between happiness and eudaimonia in order to discover how each one can attain it.
Aristotle’s account of eudaimonia is based on his essentialist conception of the human condition. He believed that the ability to reason was a distinct feature of human nature. This virtue is obtained through excellence in reason. The latter is a condition of eudaimonia. So, the highest form of happiness is eudaimonia, which he calls “the perfect virtue”.
In Aristotle’s Eudaimon, happiness is a successful realization of ergon, the rational part of the soul. The highest aim is eudaimonia, the fulfillment of human reason. The subordinate ends are ergon and well-being. Aristotle defines ergon as the activity of the rational part of the soul in accordance with virtuous acts.
For Aristotle, eudaimonia involves the completeness of a person’s life and much of it. A person’s life should be long enough to achieve eudaimonia, and a single day won’t do it. Similarly, eudaimonia requires a full life. As an example, eudaimonia involves bacon, eggs, and tomatoes.
Aristotle’s Eudaimonians believe that eudaimonia is achieved through the full exercise of one’s characteristic function. Human virtue is the set of traits that enable a person to fully exercise a function. Aristotle also views reason as a characteristic function. For this reason, he says that eudaimonia is defined as “life lived in accordance with the full exercise of one’s rationality.”
In NE 1.7, Aristotle argues that the pursuit of external goods does not make life happier. Instead, the pursuit of excellent rational activities and virtuous acts are the only true factors that make a person happy. Happiness, then, lies in the pursuit of a life of virtuous activity. Aristotle’s Eudaimonia and ergon happiness
In his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle attempts to find the highest good, and the Ergon argument is one approach to determining what this good should be. Ultimately, Aristotle concludes that there is a supreme good that encompasses all other goods, but which is independent of them. This supreme good is commonly known as eudaimonia, or bliss, and the Ergon argument attempts to identify the content of this happiness.
Aristotle’s ergon argument suggests that there is a distinction between eudaimonia and theoria. Eudaimonia encompasses moral virtues, scientific contemplation, and political action. It is the completeness of one’s life, in all its forms, that will lead to eudaimonia.
Aristotle also argues that eudaimonia is self-sufficient, and that it encompasses everything desirable in itself. This is the ultimate end. In this context, it makes sense to prefer bacon and eggs to anything else. For example, bacon and eggs and tomatoes are better than any other food. However, these types of food are only final if they contain both bacon and tomatoes. However, Ackrill argues that these types of foods cannot exist in the deserts, where no trees grow, and the food is scarce.
Eudaimonia is the highest goal for humans. Aristotle defined this end as having the most goods in life. In other words, the best life will have the most goods. Eudaimonia is a summation of all these goods. For Aristotle, living well involves having friends, experiencing pleasure, receiving honor, and acquiring external goods.