Aristotle's Notion of Eudaimonia
According to Aristotle everyone first and foremost wants a eudaimon life, a life in which he does well and fares well. Aristotle thinks there is one good that is sought for not for the sake of anything else: the summum bonum (greatest good). The greatest good is eudaimonia (living well, doing well, flourishing). In the well-ordered personality the parts of will function together under the leadership of the rational element. The goal we all seek is eudaimonia. Eudiamonia is a life of rational activity, informed with Arete (virtue), which is pursued continually. Our ability to achieve eudaimonia depends on us having some power or access to resources in the world. People without power never reach their moral potential. Friendship is necessary to eudaimonia and it is an extension of self-esteem. By virtue of being rational animals we naturally live by a plan or rule. But just as the good life is an activity of reason in relation with excellence, eudaimonia depends on having the right rule or plan. The right rule or plan is the one that leads to our possessing what is really good for us, what is needed to live well. The good life (eudaimonia) involves three real goods, each of which corresponds to an aspect of our nature. These goods are external goods, which are grounded in our animal nature (food, shelter), bodily goods, which are grounded in our animal nature (health, vitality), and goods of the soul (mind, reason), which are grounded in our rational and social nature ( knowledge and friendship). External goods are a means to bodily goods, and both these goods are required for goods of the soul. Without food we become physically ill. A sick or dying person is not interested in studying or going out with friends. Also, goods of the soul are unlimited real goods ( we can never have enough), whereas the other goods are limited ( we can sometimes have too much of them).
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