Ask a Philosopher

Ian asked:

Eudaimonia is the feeling of perfect satisfaction with ones life?

Answer by Caterina Pangallo

I think ‚perfect satisfaction‘ is a little over the top.

The word can almost be literally rendered in English as ‚good spirits‘. This implies all the good things that make a person be of good spirits. Like prospering in your career, having good friends, eating well etc.

Generally we translate the word as ‚happiness‘. For Aristotle this includes achieving a state of being good and generous with others. He thinks that being generous, altruistic and charitable belong also to eudaimonia.

In his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle says that eudaimonia means ‚doing and living well and being content‘. For Aristotle this implies that eudaimonia involves activity and a striving for excellence. It is human nature to strive for self-development. Therefore the best form of eudaimonia is gained by the proper development of one’s best powers and…

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