Eudaimonia Happiness and Virtue on Aristotle

Aristotle was the ancestor of the concept of eudaimonia. The word “Eudaimonia refer to the type of life one thinks best, most worthwhile, or most desirable. It is generally referred to hedonic happiness. It is the belief that one is getting the important things one wants, as well as certain pleasant affects [1]. It is about pleasure, having fun and enjoying yourself. Aristotle argues that most people agree that living well and doing well is all about happiness [2]. Furthermore, translation of Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics (EN) often use “happiness as the English correlate of “Eudaimonia. However, there are many questions raised to discuss the relation between the two, and in what sense, Aristotle’s Eudaimon is a happy person [3].

In fact, Eudaimonia and happiness cannot explain each other very well. They are different as the former is objective while the latter is subjective [2]. Eudaimonia is commonly translated as happiness, but it has a more complicated meaning than contemporary the word happiness. Aristotle deemed happiness to be a vulgar idea, stressing that not all desires are worth pursuing because some of them would only yield happiness but not wellness [4]. Aristotle distinguished two kinds of happiness, one is happiness that worth pursuing, and the other is happiness that not worth pursuing. For Aristotle, Eudaimonia is an activity, not a state of mind. In this case, an activity in accordance with virtue, exercised over a lifetime in the presence of a sufficient number of external goods [5]. Eudaimonia does not exclude happiness. Eudaimonia belongs to happiness, and happiness is not necessarily inclusive of Eudaimonia.

Happiness is a natural demand of human beings. It belongs to the category of Eudaimonia. It can be explained as a kind of pleasant spiritual feeling in the process of getting happiness. Some will doubt that a happy life is identical to the well-lived life [2]. This is because regardless what well-lived life is, we can always understand that happy people might living badly, or unhappy people living well. Whereas happiness is closely associated with an assessment of the quality of an individual’s life, that is purely subjective, eudaimonia is more concerned with a life as desirably objective. This therefore makes eudaimonia a more encompassing notion as compared to happiness, given that bad events that do not affect the happiness experience of an individual, tend to affect their eudaimonia [6].

Some people thinks that what distinguishes happiness from fulfilment is pain. The word pain is eminently possible to be fulfilled under pressure, suffering physically or mentally overburden and in a tetchy mood [7]. Happiness is a psychological nuance that is hard to capture, as it is hard to speak of being happy yet unhappy or happy yet suffering. However, such a combination is readily accommodated within the dignified and noble-sounding letters of Eudaimonia [7]. Unlike amusement or pleasure, happiness is not a state but activity. And like virtue or goodness, it is profound and enduring [8].

Aristotle thinks that the most Eudaimon individual is someone who has fully develop and regularly exercises the various virtues of the soul, both intellectual and moral [9]. Phycologist Cooper means that the word happiness tends to be taken as referring exclusively to a subjective psychological state, and indeed one that is often temporary and recurrent. Besides, Richard Kraut characterizes the Eudaimon as a person who is in very same psychological state as a happy person because the Eudaimon “is very glad to be alive; he judges that on balance his deepest desires are being satisfied and that the circumstances of his life are turning out well. [3]

Aristotle offers the proposition that Eudaimonia is “activity expressing virtue [1]. Eudaimonia is found by leading a virtuous life and doing what is worth doing. He believes that there is a supreme good in human life, that is, the ultimate goal that everyone pursues and that is Eudaimonia. Aristotle emphasized that Eudaimonia is constituted by rational activities that are associated with virtue rather than power or honor [6]. At this stage, I think the word Eudaimonia is best translated as “fulfilment. Plato and Aristotle believe that eudaimonia is the distinctive human good, that is, the same thing as living well and doing well, and that a person should aim at his or her own happiness in evert acts.

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