In Defense of Aristotle's Notion of Eudaimonia as an Activity of Contemplation

Archeology and Anthropology Open Access 4 (5):664-70 (2023)
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The paper addresses objections to Aristotle's notion of happiness as inconsistent and confused given the expositions of happiness in Book I and Book X of NE. It argues that such objections are rooted in the erroneous interpretation of Aristotle's description of happiness in Book I as living a "good life", and an unwarranted assumption that when Aristotle identifies happiness with contemplation, he has a professional philosopher in mind and contemplation as an activity one engages in leisurely and as a means of intellectual conditioning. It further shows that happiness as Aristotle understands it is a reward for cultivating virtuous character. And though everyone has the capacity for it, only the few attain happiness since it requires exertion and effort and the many are unwilling to make such acquirement a priority.

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Atina Knowles
Rowan University


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