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Fro m Wikipedia, the free encyclo pedia Navigatio n Main page Co ntents Featured co ntent Current events Rando m article Do nate to Wikipedia Interactio n Help Abo ut Wikipedia Co mmunity po rtal Recent changes Co ntact Wikipedia 1 Definitio n To o lbo x What links here Related changes Uplo ad file Special pages Permanent link Page info rmatio n Cite this page Print/expo rt 2 Main views o n eudaimo nia and its relatio n to aret 2.1 So crates 2.2 Plato 2.3 Aristo tle 2.4 Epicurus 2.5 The Sto ics 3 Eudaimo nia and mo dern mo ral philo so phy 4 Eudaimo nia and mo dern psycho lo gy 4.1 Genetics 5 Etymo lo gy and translatio n 6 See also 7 References

For the moth, see Eudaemonia (moth). dai mona]), sometimes angliciz ed as eudemonia (pron.: /judmoni/), is a Greek Eudaimonia or eudaemonia (Greek: [eu word commonly translated as happiness or welfare; however, "human flourishing" has been proposed as a more accurate translation.[1] Etymologically, it consists of the words " eu " ("good") and " daimn " ("spirit"). It is a central concept in Aristotelian ethics and political philosophy, along with the terms "aret ", most often translated as " virtue" or "excellence", and " phronesis", often translated as "practical or ethical wisdom".[2] In Aristotle's works, eudaimonia was (based on older Greek tradition) used as the term for the highest human good, and so it is the aim of practical philosophy, including ethics and political philosophy, to consider (and also experience) what it really is, and how it can be achieved. Discussion of the links between virtue of character (ethik aret) and happiness (eudaimonia) is one of the central preoccupations of ancient ethics, and a subject of much disagreement. As a result there are many varieties of eudaimonism. Two of the most influential forms are those of Aristotle [3] and the Stoics. Aristotle takes virtue and its exercise to be the most important constituent in eudaimonia but acknowledges also the importance of external goods such as health, wealth, and beauty. By contrast, the Stoics make virtue necessary and sufficient for eudaimonia and thus deny the necessity of external goods.
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7 References Create a bo o k Do wnlo ad as PDF Printable versio n Languages Catal esky Dansk Deutsch Eesti Espao l Esperanto Euskara Franais Hrvatski Bahasa Indo nesia Italiano Lietuvi Nederlands No rsk bo kml Po lski Po rtugus Ro mn Slo venina / srpski Suo mi Svenska Edit links 8 Further reading 9 External links

The Definitions , a dictionary of Greek philosophical terms attributed to Plato himself but believed by modern scholars to have been written by his immediate followers in the Academy, provides the following definition of the word eudaimonia: The good composed of all goods; an ability which suffices for living well; perfection in respect of virtue; resources sufficient for a living creature.


In his Nicomachean Ethics, (21; 1095a1522) Aristotle says that everyone agrees that eudaimonia is the highest good for human beings, but that there is substantial disagreement on what sort of life counts as doing and living well; i.e. eudaimon: Verbally there is a very general agreement; for both the general run of men and people of superior refinement say that it is [eudaimonia], and identify living well and faring well with being happy; but with regard to what [eudaimonia] is they differ, and the many do not give the same account as the wise. For the former think it is some plain and obvious thing like pleasure, wealth or honour [1095a17] [4] So, as Aristotle points out, saying that eudaimon life is a life which is objectively desirable, and means living well, is not saying very much. Everyone wants to be eudaimon; and everyone agrees that being eudaimon is related to faring well and to an individuals well being. The really difficult question is to specify just what sort of activities enable one to live well. Aristotle presents various popular conceptions of the best life for human beings. The candidates that he mentions are a (1) life of pleasure, (2) a life of political activity and (3) a philosophical life. One important move in Greek philosophy to answer the question of how to achieve eudaimonia is to bring in another important concept in ancient philosophy, "arete" ("virtue"). Aristotle says that the eudaimon life is one of virtuous activity in accordance with reason [1097b221098a20]. And even Epicurus who argues that the eudaimon life is the life of pleasure maintains that the life of pleasure coincides with the life of virtue. So the ancient ethical theorists tend to agree that virtue is closely bound up with happiness (aret is bound up with eudaimonia). However, they disagree on the way in which this is so. We shall consider the main theories in a moment, but first a warning about the proper translation of aret. As already noted, the Greek word aret is usually translated into English as virt ue . One problem with this is that we are inclined to understand virtue in a moral sense, which is not always what the ancients had in mind. For a Greek, aret pertains to all sorts of qualities we would not regard as relevant to ethics, for example, physical beauty. So it is important to bear in mind that the sense of virtue operative in ancient ethics is not exclusively moral and includes more than states such as wisdom, courage and compassion. The sense of virtue which aret connotes would include saying something like "speed is a virtue in a horse", or "height is a virtue in a basketball player". Doing anything well requires virtue, and each characteristic activity (such as carpentry, flute playing, etc.) has its own set of virtues. The alternative translation excellence (or "a desirable quality") might be helpful in conveying this general meaning of the term.

The moral virtues are simply a subset of the general sense in which a human being is capable of functioning well or excellently.

Main views on eudaimonia and its relation to aret

What we know of Socrates' philosophy is almost entirely derived from Platos writings. Scholars typically divide Platos works into three periods: the early, middle, and late periods. They tend to agree also that Platos earliest works quite faithfully represent the teachings of Socrates and that Platos own views, which go beyond those of Socrates, appear for the first time in the middle works such as the Phaedo and the Republic. This division will be employed here in dividing up the positions of Socrates and Plato on eudaimonia. As with all other ancient ethical thinkers Socrates thought that all human beings wanted eudaimonia more than anything else. (see Plato, Apology 30b, Euthydemus 280d282d, Meno 87d89a). However, Socrates adopted a quite radical form of eudaimonism (see above): he seems to have thought that virtue is both necessary and sufficient for eudaimonia. Socrates is convinced that virtues such as self- control, courage, justice, piety, wisdom and related qualities of mind and soul are absolutely crucial if a person is to lead a good and happy (eudaimon) life. Virtues guarantee a happy life eudaimonia. For example, in the Meno , with respect to wisdom, he says: everything the soul endeavours or endures under the guidance of wisdom ends in happiness[ Meno 88c]. In the Apology, Socrates clearly presents his disagreement with those who think that the eudaimon life is the life of honour or pleasure, when he chastises the Athenians for caring more for riches and honour than the state of their souls. Good Sir, you are an Athenian, a citiz en of the greatest city with the greatest reputation for both wisdom and power; are you not ashamed of your eagerness to possess as much wealth, reputation, and honors as possible, while you do not care for nor give thought to wisdom or truth or the best possible state of your soul [29d].[5] it does not seem like human nature for me to have neglected all my own affairs and to have tolerated this neglect for so many years while I was always concerned with you, approaching each one of you like a father or an elder brother to persuade you to care for virtue. [31ab; italics added]

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French painter David portrayed the philosopher in The Death of Socrates (1787).

It emerges a bit further on that this concern for ones soul, that ones soul might be in the best possible state, amounts to acquiring moral virtue. So Socrates point that the Athenians should care for their souls means that they should care for their virtue, rather than pursuing honour or riches. Virtues are states of the soul. When a soul has been properly cared for and perfected it possesses the virtues. Moreover, according to Socrates, this state of the soul, moral virtue, is the most important good. The health of the soul is incomparably more important for eudaimonia than (e.g.) wealth and political power. Someone with a virtuous soul is better off than someone who is

wealthy and honoured but whose soul is corrupted by unjust actions. This view is confirmed in the Crito , where Socrates gets Crito to agree that the perfection of the soul, virtue, is the most important good: And is life worth living for us with that part of us corrupted that unjust action harms and just action benefits? Or do we think that part of us, whatever it is, that is concerned with justice and injustice, is inferior to the body? Not at all. It is much more valuable? Much more (47e48a) Here Socrates argues that life is not worth living if the soul is ruined by wrongdoing. [6] In summary, Socrates seems to think that virtue is both necessary and sufficient for eudaimonia. A person who is not virtuous cannot be happy, and a person with virtue cannot fail to be happy. We shall see later on that Stoic ethics takes its cue from this Socratic insight.



Platos great work of the middle period, the Republic , is devoted to answering a challenge made by a sophist Thrasymachus, that conventional morality, particularly the virtue of justice, actually prevents the strong man from achieving eudaimonia. Thrasymachuss views are restatements of a position which Plato discusses earlier on in his writings, in the Gorgias , through the mouthpiece of Callicles. The basic argument presented by Thrasymachus and Callicles is that justice (being just) hinders or prevents the achievement of eudaimonia because conventional morality requires that we control ourselves and hence live with un- satiated desires. This idea is vividly illustrated in book 2 of the Republic when Glaucon, taking up Thrasymachus challenge, recounts a myth of the magical ring of Gyges. According to the myth, Gyges becomes king of Lydia when he stumbles upon a magical ring, which, when he turns it a particular way, makes him invisible, so that he can satisfy any desire he wishes without fear of punishment. When he discovers the power of the ring he kills the king, marries his wife and takes over the throne. The thrust of Glaucons challenge is that no one would be just if he could escape the retribution he would normally encounter for fulfilling his desires at whim. But if eudaimonia is to be achieved through the satisfaction of desire, whereas being just or acting justly requires suppression of desire, then it is not in the interests of the strong man to act according to the dictates of conventional morality. (This general line of argument reoccurs much later in the philosophy of Nietz sche.) Throughout the rest of the Republic , Plato aims to refute this claim by showing that the virtue of justice is necessary for eudaimonia. The argument of the Republic is lengthy, complex, and profound, and the present context

The argument of the Republic is lengthy, complex, and profound, and the present context does not allow that we give it proper consideration. In a thumbnail sketch, Plato argues that virtues are states of the soul, and that the just person is someone whose soul is ordered and harmonious, with all its parts functioning properly to the persons benefit. In contrast, Plato argues that the unjust mans soul, without the virtues, is chaotic and at war with itself, so that even if he were able to satisfy most of his desires, his lack of inner harmony and unity thwart any chance he has of achieving eudaimonia. Platos ethical theory is eudaimonistic because it maintains that eudaimonia depends on virtue. (Virtue is necessary for eudaimonia.) On Platos version of the relationship, virtue is depicted as the most crucial and the dominant constituent of eudaimonia.



Aristotles account is articulated in the Nicomachean Ethics and the Eudemian Ethics. In outline, for Aristotle, eudaimonia involves activity, exhibiting virtue (aret sometimes translated as excellence) in accordance with reason. This conception of eudaimonia derives from Aristotles essentialist understanding of human nature, the view that reason (logos sometimes translated as rationality) is unique to human beings and that the ideal function or work ( ergon) of a human being is the fullest or most perfect exercise of reason. Basically, well being (eudaimonia) is gained by proper development of one's highest and most human capabilities and human beings are "the rational animal". It follows that eudaimonia for a human being is the attainment of excellence (aret ) in reason.

The School of Athens by Raffaello Sanz io, 1509, showing Plato (left) and Aristotle (right)

According to Aristotle, eudaimonia actually requires activity, action, so that it is not sufficient for a person to possess a squandered ability or disposition. Eudaimonia requires not only good character but rational activity. Aristotle clearly maintains that to live in accordance with reason means achieving excellence thereby. Moreover, he claims this excellence cannot be isolated and so competencies are also required appropriate to related functions. For example, if being a truly outstanding scientist requires impressive math skills, so that one might say "doing mathematics well is necessary to be a first rate scientist". From this it follows that eudaimonia, living well, consists in activities exercising the rational part of the psyche in accordance with the virtues or excellency of reason [1097b221098a20]. Which is to say, to be fully engaged in the intellectually stimulating and fulling work at which one achieves well- earned success. The rest of the Nicomachean Ethics is devoted to filling out the claim that best life for a human being is the life of excellence in accordance with reason. Since reason for Aristotle is not only theoretical but practical also, he spends quite a bit of time discussing excellence of character which enable a person to exercise his practical reason (i.e., reason relating to action) successfully. Aristotles ethical theory is eudaimonist because it maintains that eudaimonia depends on virtue. However, it is Aristotles explicit view that virtue is necessary but not sufficient for eudaimonia. While emphasiz ing the importance of the rational aspect of the psyche, he does not ignore the importance of other goods such as friends, wealth, and power in a life that is eudaimonic. He doubts the likelihood of being eudaimonic if one lacks certain external goods such as good birth, good children, and beauty. So, a person who is hideously ugly or has lost children or good friends through death (1099b56), or who is isolated, is unlikely to be eudaimon. In this way, "dumb luck"

(chance) can preempt one's attainment of eudaimonia.


[edit] Epicurus ethical theory is hedonistic. (His view proved very influential on the founders and best proponents of utilitarianism, Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. See the article on utilitarianism.) Hedonism is the view that pleasure is the only intrinsic good and that pain is the only intrinsic bad. An object, experience or state of affairs is intrinsically valuable if it is good simply because of what it is. Intrinsic value is to be contrasted with instrumental value. An object, experience or state of affairs is instrumentally valuable if it serves as a means to what is intrinsically valuable. To see this, consider the following example. Suppose you spend your days and nights in an office, working at not entirely pleasant activities, such as entering data into a computer, and this, all for money. Someone asks, why do you want the money? and you answer, So, I can buy an apartment overlooking the Mediterranean, and a red Ferrari. This answer expresses the point that money is instrumentally valuable because it is a means to getting your apartment and red Ferrari. The value of making money is dependent on the value of commodities. It is instrumentally valuable: valuable only because of what one obtains by means of it [ citation needed ]. Epicurus identifies the eudaimon life with the life of pleasure. He understands eudaimonia as a more or less continuous experience of pleasure, and also, freedom from pain and distress. But it is important to notice that Epicurus does not advocate that one pursue any and every pleasure. Rather, he recommends a policy whereby pleasures are maximiz ed in the long run. In other words, Epicuric claims that some pleasures are not worth having because they lead to greater pains, and some pains are worthwhile when they lead to greater pleasures. The best strategy for attaining a maximal amount of pleasure overall is not to seek instant gratification but to work out a sensible long term policy.

Epicurus identified eudaimonia with the life of pleasure.

Ancient Greek ethics is eudaimonist because it links virtue and eudaimonia, where eudaimonia refers to an individuals (objective) well being. Epicurus' doctrine can be considered eudaimonist since Epicurus argues that a life of pleasure will coincide with a life of virtue. He believes that we do and ought to seek virtue because virtue brings pleasure. Epicurus basic doctrine is that a life of virtue is the life which generates the most amount of pleasure, and it is for this reason that we ought to be virtuous. This thesisthe eudaimon life is the pleasurable lifeis not a tautology as eudaimonia is the good life would be: rather, it is the substantive and controversial claim that a life of pleasure and absence of pain is what eudaimonia consists in. One important difference between Epicurus eudaimonism and that of Plato and Aristotle is that for the latter virtue is a constituent of eudaimonia, whereas Epicurus makes virtue a means to happiness. To this difference, consider Aristotles theory. Aristotle maintains that eudaimonia is what everyone wants (and Epicurus would agree). He also thinks that eudaimonia is best achieved by a life of virtuous activity in accordance with reason. The virtuous person takes pleasure in doing the right thing as a result of a proper training of moral and

intellectual character (See e.g., Nicomachean Ethics 1099a5). However, Aristotle does not think that virtuous activity is pursued for the sake of pleasure. Pleasure is a byproduct of virtuous action: it does not enter at all into the reasons why virtuous action is virtuous. Aristotle does not think that we literally aim for eudaimonia. Rather, eudaimonia is what we achieve (assuming that we arent particularly unfortunate in the possession of external goods) when we live according to the requirements of reason. Virtue is the largest constituent in a eudaimon life. By contrast, Epicurus holds that virtue is the means to achieve happiness. His theory is eudaimonist in that he holds that virtue is indispensable to happiness; but virtue is not a constituent of a eudaimon life, and being virtuous is not (external goods aside) identical with being eudaimon. Rather, according to Epicurus, virtue is only instrumentally related to happiness. So whereas Aristotle would not say that one ought to aim for virtue in order to attain pleasure, Epicurus would endorse this claim.

The Stoics
Stoic philosophy begins with Zeno of Citium c.300 BCE, and was developed by Cleanthes (331 232 BCE) and Chrysippus (c.280c.206 BCE) into a formidable systematic unity.[7] Zeno believed happiness was a "good flow of life"; Cleanthes suggested it was "living in agreement with nature", and Chrysippus believed it was "living in accordance with experience of what happens by nature." [7] Stoic ethics is a particularly strong version of eudaimonism. According to the Stoics, virtue is necessary and sufficient for eudaimonia. (This thesis is generally regarded as stemming from the Socrates of Platos earlier dialogues.) We saw earlier that the conventional Greek concept of arete is not quite the same as that denoted by virtue, which has Christian connotations of charity, patience, and uprightness, since arete includes many nonmoral virtues such as physical strength and beauty. However, the Stoic concept of arete is much nearer to the Christian conception of virtue, which refers to the moral virtues. However, unlike Christian understandings of virtue, righteousness or piety, the Stoic conception does not place as great an emphasis on mercy, forgiveness, self- abasement (i.e. the ritual process of declaring complete powerlessness and humility before God), charity and self- sacrificial love, though these behaviors/mentalities are not necessarily spurned by the Stoics (they are spurned by other philosophers of Antiquity). Rather Stoicism emphasiz es states such as justice, honesty, moderation, simplicity, self- discipline, resolve, fortitude, and courage (states which Christianity also encourages).


Z eno, thought happiness was a " good flow of life."

The Stoics make a radical claim that the eudaimon life is the morally virtuous life. Moral virtue is good, and moral vice is bad, and everything else, such as health, honour and riches, are merely neutral.[7] The Stoics therefore are committed to saying that external goods such as wealth and physical beauty are not really good at all. Moral virtue is both necessary and sufficient for eudaimonia. In this, they are akin to Cynic philosophers such as Antisthenes and Diogenes in denying the importance to eudaimonia of external goods and circumstances, such as were recogniz ed by Aristotle, who thought that severe misfortune (such as the death of ones family and friends) could rob even the most virtuous person of eudaimonia. This Stoic doctrine re- emerges later in the history of ethical philosophy in the writings of Immanuel Kant, who argues that the possession of a "good will" is the only unconditional good. One difference is that whereas the Stoics regard external goods as neutral, as neither good nor bad, Kants position seems to be that external goods are good, but only

so far as they are a condition to achieving happiness.

Eudaimonia and modern moral philosophy


Interest in the concept of eudaimonia and ancient ethical theory more generally enjoyed a revival in the twentieth century. Eliz abeth Anscombe in her article "Modern Moral Philosophy" (1958) argued that duty based conceptions of morality are conceptually incoherent for they are based on the idea of a "law without a lawgiver".[8] She claims a system of morality conceived along the lines of the Ten Commandments depends on someone having made these rules.[9] Anscombe recommends a return to the eudaimonistic ethical theories of the ancients, particularly Aristotle, which ground morality in the interests and well being of human moral agents, and can do so without appealing to any such lawgiver. Julia Driver in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy explains: Anscombe's article Modern Moral Philosophy stimulated the development of virtue ethics as an alternative to Utilitarianism, Kantian Ethics, and Social Contract theories. Her primary charge in the article is that, as secular approaches to moral theory, they are without foundation. They use concepts such as morally ought, morally obligated, morally right, and so forth that are legalistic and require a legislator as the source of moral authority. In the past God occupied that role, but systems that dispense with God as part of the theory are lacking the proper foundation for meaningful employment of those concepts.[10]

Eudaimonia and modern psychology

Further information: Psychological well-being


Models of eudaimonia in psychology emerged out of early work on self- actualisation and the means of its accomplishment by researchers such as Erikson, Allport, and Maslow.[11] The psychologist C. D. Ryff highlighted the distinction between eudaimonia wellbeing , which she identified as psychological well- being, and hedonic wellbeing or pleasure. Building on Aristotelian ideals of belonging and benefiting others, flourishing, thriving and exercising excellence, she conceptualised eudaimonia as a six- factor structure : 1. Autonomy 2. Personal growth 3. Self- acceptance 4. Purpose in life 5. Environmental mastery 6. Positive relations with others. Importantly, she also produced scales for assessing mental health.[11] This factor structure has been debated, [12][13] but has generated much research in wellbeing, health and successful aging.

Individual differences in both overall Eudaimonia, identified loosely with self- control and in the facets of eudaimonia are heritable.


Evidence from one study supports 5 independent genetic mechanisms underlying the Ryff facets of this trait, leading to a genetic construct of eudaimonia in terms of general self- control, and four subsidiary biological mechanisms enabling the psychological capabilities of purpose, agency, growth, and positive social relations [14]

Etymology and translation


In terms of its etymology, eudaimonia is an abstract noun derived from eu meaning well and daimon (daemon), which refers to a minor deity or a guardian spirit.[3] Eudaimonia implies a positive and divine state of being that man is able to strive toward and possibly reach. A literal view of eudaimonia means achieving a state of being similar to benevolent deity, or being protected and looked after by a benevolent deity. As this would be considered the most positive state to be in, the word is often translated as 'happiness' although incorporating the divine nature of the word extends the meaning to also include the concepts of being fortunate, or blessed. Despite this etymology, however, discussions of eudaimonia in ancient Greek ethics are often conducted independently of any super- natural significance. In his Nicomachean Ethics, (1095a1522) Aristotle says that eudaimonia means doing and living well. It is significant that synonyms for eudaimonia are living well and doing well. On the standard English translation, this would be to say that happiness is doing well and living well. The word happiness does not entirely capture the meaning of the Greek word. One important difference is that happiness often connotes being or tending to be in a certain pleasant state of consciousness. For example, when we say of someone that he is a very happy man, we usually mean that he seems subjectively contented with the way things are going in his life. We mean to imply that he feels good about the way things are going for him. In contrast, eudaimonia is a more encompassing notion than feeling happy since events that do not contribute to ones experience of feeling happy may affect ones eudaimonia. Eudaimonia depends on all the things that would make us happy if we knew of their existence, but quite independently of whether we do know about them. Ascribing eudaimonia to a person, then, may include ascribing such things as being virtuous, being loved and having good friends. But these are all objective judgments about someones life: they concern a persons really being virtuous, really being loved, and really having fine friends. This implies that a person who has evil sons and daughters will not be judged to be eudaimonic even if he or she does not know that they are evil and feels pleased and contented with the way they have turned out (happy). Conversely, being loved by your children would not count towards your happiness if you did not know that they loved you (and perhaps thought that they did not), but it would count towards your eudaimonia. So eudaimonia corresponds to the idea of having an objectively good or desirable life, to some extent independently of whether one knows that certain things exist or not. It includes conscious experiences of well being, success, and failure, but also a whole lot more. (See Aristotles discussion: Nicomachean Ethics, book 1.10 1.11.) Because of this discrepancy between the meaning of eudaimonia and happiness, some alternative translations have been proposed. W.D. Ross suggests "well- being" and John Cooper proposes "flourishing". These translations may avoid some of the misleading associations carried by "happiness" although each tends to raise some problems of its own. In some modern texts therefore, the other alternative is to leave the term in an English form of the original Greek, as "eudaimonia".

See also


Eudaemon (mythology) Eupraxsophy Fellowship of Reason Humanism Nicomachean Ethics Phronesis Summum bonum Virtue ethics

1. ^ Daniel N. Ro binso n. (19 9 9 ). Aristo tle's Psycho lo gy. Published by Daniel N. Ro binso n. ISBN 0 -9 6 720 6 6 -0 -X ISBN 9 78 -0 9 6 720 6 6 0 8


2. ^ Ro salind Hurstho use (July 18 , 20 0 7). "Virtue Ethics" . Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy . Retrieved 20 10 -0 6 -0 5. "But altho ugh mo dern virtue ethics do es no t have to take the fo rm kno wn as "neo -Aristo telian", almo st any mo dern versio n still sho ws that its ro o ts are in ancient Greek philo so phy by the emplo yment o f three co ncepts derived fro m it. These are aret (excellence o r virtue) phro nesis (practical o r mo ral wisdo m) and eudaimo nia (usually translated as happiness o r flo urishing.) As mo dern virtue ethics has gro wn and mo re peo ple have beco me familiar with its literature, the understanding o f these terms has increased, but it is still the case that readers familiar o nly with mo dern philo so phy tend to misinterpret them." 3. ^ a b Verena vo n Pfetten (0 9 -4-0 8 ). "5 Things Happy Peo ple Do " . Huffington Post . Retrieved 20 10 -0 6 -0 5. "But researchers no w believe that eudaimo nic well-being may be mo re impo rtant. Co bbled fro m the Greek eu ("go o d") and daimo n ("spirit" o r "deity"), eudaimo nia means striving to ward excellence based o n o ne's unique talents and po tentialAristo tle co nsidered it to be the no blest go al in life. In his time, the Greeks believed that each child was blessed at birth with a perso nal daimo n embo dying the highest po ssible expressio n o f his o r her nature. One way they envisio ned the daimo n was as a go lden figurine that wo uld be revealed by cracking away an o uter layer o f cheap po ttery (the perso n's baser exterio r). The effo rt to kno w and realize o ne's mo st go lden self"perso nal gro wth," in to day's vernacularis no w the central co ncept o f eudaimo nia, which has also co me to include co ntinually taking o n new challenges and fulfilling o ne's sense o f purpo se in life." 4. ^ Aristo tle, also David Ro ss, Lesley Bro wn (19 8 0 ). "The Nico machean Ethics" . Oxfo rd University Press. Retrieved 20 10 -0 6 -0 5. "Verbally there is very general agreement, fo r bo th the general run o f men and peo ple o f superio r refinement..." 5. ^ Uncertain (19 September 20 0 8 ). "Ho w "Go d" functio ned in So crates' life" . DD:Religio n. Retrieved 20 10 -0 6 -0 5. "Men o f Athens, I am grateful and I am yo ur friend, but I will o bey the go d rather than yo u, and as lo ng as I draw breath and am able, I shall no t cease to practice philo so phy, to exho rt yo u and in my usual way to po int o ut to any o f yo u who m I happen to meet: "Go o d Sir, yo u are an Athenian, a citizen o f the greatest city with the greatest reputatio n fo r bo th wisdo m and po wer; are yo u no t ashamed o f yo ur eagerness to po ssess as much wealth, reputatio n and ho no rs as po ssible, while yo u do no t care fo r no r give tho ught to wisdo m o r truth, o r the best po ssible state o f yo ur so ul?"" 6 . ^ Richard Parry (Aug 7, 20 0 9 ). "Ancient Ethical Theo ry" . Stanfo rd Encyclo pedia o f Philo so phy. Retrieved 20 10 -0 6 -0 5. "So crates says that a man wo rth anything at all do es no t recko n whether his co urse o f actio n endangers his life o r threatens death. He lo o ks o nly at o ne thing whether what he do es is just o r no t, the wo rk o f a go o d o r o f a bad man (28 bc)." 7. ^ a b c Dirk Baltzly (Feb 7, 20 0 8 ). "Sto icism" . Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy . Retrieved 20 10 -0 6 -0 5. "But what is happiness? The Epicureans' answer was deceptively straightfo rward: the happy life is the o ne which is mo st pleasant. (But their acco unt o f what the highest pleasure co nsists in was no t at all straightfo rward.) Zeno 's answer was "a go o d flo w o f life" (Arius Didymus, 6 3A) o r "living in agreement", and Cleanthes clarified that with the fo rmulatio n that the end was "living in agreement with nature" (Arius Didymus, 6 3B). Chrysippus amplified this

to (amo ng o ther fo rmulatio ns) "living in acco rdance with experience o f what happens by nature"; later Sto ics inadvisably, in respo nse to Academic attacks, substituted such fo rmulatio ns as "the ratio nal selectio n o f the primary things acco rding to nature." The Sto ics' specificatio n o f what happiness co nsists in canno t be adequately understo o d apart fro m their views abo ut value and human psycho lo gy." 8 . ^ "The ethics o f virtue: The Ethics o f Virtue and the Ethics o f Right Actio n" . m. 20 10 -0 6 -0 5. Retrieved 20 10 -0 6 -0 5. "legalistic ethics rest o n the inco herent no tio n o f a "law" witho ut a lawgiver: DCT unacceptable; and the alternative so urces o f mo ral "legislatio n" are inadequate substitutes" 9 . ^ G. E. M. Ansco mbe (January 19 58 ). "Mo dern Mo ral Philo so phy" . Philo so phy 33, No . 124. Retrieved 20 10 -0 6 -0 5. "Originally published in Philo so phy 33, No . 124 (January 19 58 ). ... The first is that it is no t pro fitable fo r us at present to do mo ral philo so phy; that sho uld be laid aside at any rate until we have an adequate philo so phy o f psycho lo gy, in which we are co nspicuo usly lacking. The seco nd is that the co ncepts o f o bligatio n, and dutymo ral o bligatio n and mo ral duty, that is to sayand o f what is mo rally right and wro ng, and o f the mo ral sense o f "o ught", o ught to be jettiso ned if this is psycho lo gically po ssible; because they are survivals, o r derivatives fro m survivals, fro m an earlier co nceptio n o f ethics which no lo nger generally survives, and are o nly harmful witho ut it. My third thesis is that the differences between the well kno wn English writers o n mo ral philo so phy fro m Sidgwick to the present day are o f little impo rtance." 10 . ^ Julia Driver (Jul 21, 20 0 9 ). "Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret Ansco mbe: 5.1 Virtue Ethics" . Stanfo rd Encyclo pedia o f Philo so phy. Retrieved 20 10 -0 6 -0 5. "In the past Go d o ccupied that ro le, but systems that dispense with Go d as part o f the theo ry are lacking the pro per fo undatio n fo r meaningful emplo yment o f tho se co ncepts." 11. ^ a b C. D. Ryff. (19 8 9 ). Happiness is everything, o r is it? Explo ratio ns o n the meaning o f psycho lo gical well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , 5 7 , 10 6 9 -10 8 1. 12. ^ K. W. Springer, R. M. Hauser and J. Freese. (20 0 6 ). Bad news indeed fo r Ryff's six-facto r mo del o f well-being. Social Science Research , 35 , 1120 -1131. 13. ^ C. D. Ryff and B. H. Singer. (20 0 6 ). Best news yet o n the six-facto r mo del o f well-being. Social Science Research , 35 , 110 3-1119 . 14. ^ D. Archo ntaki, G. J. Lewis and T. C. Bates. (20 12). Genetic influences o n psycho lo gical well-being: A natio nally representative twin study. Journal of Personality 10 .1111/j.146 7-6 49 4.20 12.0 0 78 7.x

Further reading
Ackrill, J. L. (1981) Aristotle the Philosopher . Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0- 19- 289118- 9 Anscombe, G. E. M. (1958) Modern Moral Philosophy . Philosophy 33; repr. in G.E.M. Anscombe (1981), vol. 3, 2642. Aristotle. The Nichomachean Ethics , translated by Martin Oswald (1962). New York: The Bobs- Merrill Company.


Aristotle. The Complete Works of Aristotle, vol. 1 and 2 , rev. ed. Jonathan Barnes, ed. Princeton: Princeton University Press, [1984]. Bollingen Foundation, 1995. ASIN: B000J0HP5E Broadie, Sarah W. (1991) Ethics with Aristotle. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ASIN: B000VM6T34 Cicero. De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum : "On Ends", H. Rackham, trans. Loeb Classical Library (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1914). Latin text with old- fashioned and not always philosophically precise English translation. Epicurus. "Letter to Menoeceus, Principal Doctrines, and Vatican Sayings," 2840 in B. Inwood and L. Gerson, Hellenistic Philosophy: Introductory Readings, Second Edition Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co., 1998. ISBN 0- 87220- 378- 6 Irwin, T. H. (1995) Platos Ethics , Oxford: Oxford University Press. Long, A. A., and D.N. Sedley, The Hellenistic Philosophers , vol 1 and 2 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987) Norton, David L. (1976) Personal Destinies , Princeton University Press.

Plato. Plato's Complete Works , John M. Cooper, ed. Translated by D. S. Hutchinson. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co., 1997. ISBN 0- 87220- 349- 2 Urmson, J. O. (1988) Aristotles Ethics . Oxford: Blackwell. Vlastos, G. (1991) Socrates: Ironist and Moral Philosopher . Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. ISBN 0- 8014- 9787- 6 McMahon, Darrin M., Happiness: A History , Atlantic Monthly Press, November 28, 2005. ISBN 0- 87113- 886- 7 McMahon, Darrin M., The History of Happiness: 400 B.C. A.D. 1780 , Daedalus journal, Spring 2004.

External links
Ancient Ethical Theory, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Aristotle's Ethics, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy


Epicure anism
G re e k e ra Ep icurus Polyaenus Me t ro d o rus Batis Leontion Carneiscus Idomeneus Hermarchus Colotes Themista Leonteus Polystratus Dionysius of Lamptrai Basilides Philonides Diogenes of Tarsus Alcaeus and Philiscus Apollodorus Demetrius Lacon Z e no o f Sid o n Amafinius Rabirius Titus Albucius Phaedrus Philo d e mus Lucre t ius Patro Catius Siro D io g e ne s o f O e no and a

Philo so p he rs R o man e ra Philo so p hy C o nce p t s Wo rks


Epicureanism (cf. Hedonism) Tetrapharmakos Aponia Ataraxia Clinamen Eud aimo nia Hedone Metakosmia On the Nature of Things

St o icism
Early St o a Z e no o f C it ium Persaeus Aristo Sphaerus Herillus C le ant he s C hrysip p us Z eno of Tarsus Crates of Mallus Diogenes of Babylon Apollodorus Antipater of Tarsus Panae t ius Dardanus Mnesarchus Hecato Po sid o nius Diodotus Geminus Antipater of Tyre Athenodoros Cananites Se ne ca Cornutus Muso nius R uf us Euphrates Cleomedes Ep ict e t us Hierocles Sextus Junius Rusticus Marcus Aure lius

Philo so p he rs

Mid d le St o a Lat e St o a

Philo so p hy C o nce p t s Wo rks


Stoicism Stoic categories Stoic passions Stoic physics Neostoicism Adiaphora Apatheia Ataraxia Diairesis Eud aimo nia Katalepsis Logos Kathekon Physis Pneuma Prohairesis Dialogues (Seneca) Discourses (Epictetus) Enchiridion (Epictetus) Epistles (Seneca) Meditations (Marcus Aurelius) The Republic (Z eno)

Gre e k scho o ls o f philo so phy

Scho o ls Atomism Eleatics Ionian (Ephesian Milesian) Pluralism Pythagoreanism Sophism Anaxagoras Anaximander Anaximenes Democritus Empedocles Heraclitus Parmenides Protagoras Pythagoras Thales Cynicism Cyrenaics Eretrian school Megarian school Peripateticism Platonism

Pre - So crat ic p hilo so p hy

Philo so p he rs Scho o ls

So crat ic p hilo so p hy

Scho o ls Philo so p he rs Scho o ls

Cynicism Cyrenaics Eretrian school Megarian school Peripateticism Platonism Antisthenes Aristippus Aristotle Euclid of Megara Phaedo of Elis Plato Socrates Epicureanism Neoplatonism Neopythagoreanism Pyrrhonism Stoicism Apollonius of Tyana Epictetus Epicurus Lucretius Plotinus Pyrrho Sextus Empiricus Z eno of Citium

He lle nist ic p hilo so p hy

Philo so p he rs

C o nce p t s

Adiaphora: Outside moral law Apatheia: Equanimity Apeiron: Boundlessness Arche: First cause Arete: Excellence Ataraxia: Tranquility Demiurge: Creator Doxa: Common opinion Dunamis and Energeia: Potentiality and actuality Episteme: Knowledge Epoch: Suspension Ethos: Character Eud aimo nia : Flourishing Henosis: Oneness Katalepsis: Comprehension Logos: Reason Nous: Intellect Pathos: Appeal to emotion Phronesis: Practical wisdom Physis: Natural law Sophia: Wisdom Aesthetics Cosmology Epistemology Ethics Logic Metaphysics Natural philosophy Political philosophy Social philosophy

Fie ld s

Categories: Theology Positive psychology

Virtue ethics

Classical Greek philosophy

Concepts in ethics



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