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What is Eudaimonia? Aristotle and Eudaimonic Well-Being

Defining Eudaimonia

Defining Eudaimonia

Eudaimonia is a term which comes from Aristotle’s work called ‘Nicomachean Ethics’ and means individual well-being and happiness. It combines the prefix eu (meaning good) and daimon (spirit).

Socrates also delved in goodness and the virtues of knowledge leading us to achieve ultimate good.

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It cannot be acquired by pleasurable experiences but only by identifying and realizing our own potential, moral and creative, in our specific environments, with our particular family, friends and colleagues, and helping others to do so. 

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Eudaimonia

Unlike happiness, eudaimonia is not an emotion: It is a state of being or doing. It is more stable and cannot so quickly be taken away from us.

Eudaimonia is a much deeper and richer concept than happiness and is viewed in terms of living a worthwhile life. It has everything to do with hard work.

Socrates and Plato on Eudaimonia

Socrates equated eudaimonia with wisdom and virtue, stating that he who is not wise cannot be happy.

Plato broadly agreed with Socrates. Plato writes that justice and injustice are to the soul as health and disease are to the body. For Plato, an unjust man cannot be happy because he is not in ordered control of himself.

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Plato And Socrates on Living a Moral Life
  • The Greek philosopher Socrates stated that it is better to suffer and die than to be corrupted and use one’s wealth and power in a dishonourable way.
  • Plato claimed that being morally good has an inner harmony, while a dishonest, wicked person is always at unease, and in a disharmonious state of being.
Morality and Religions
  • Believers Of God, both in east and west, believe that good, pious deeds and intentions are rewarded by God; many people do not receive their reward in this life.
  • Hindus believe that Karma will ensure that their good deeds will be rewarded, while evil actions and desires will be punished, either in this life or in future lives.