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Virtue and Reason in Plato and Aristotle$
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A.W. Price

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199609611

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199609611.001.0001

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Aristotle on Eudaimonia

Aristotle on Eudaimonia

(p.33) A 2 Aristotle on Eudaimonia
Virtue and Reason in Plato and Aristotle

A. W. Price

Oxford University Press

Eudaimonia as the final goal of action is abstract, being equivalent to ‘acting well’. We should not view it as the totality of the goods that a life contains, which leads to insoluble problems. A life can contain incidental goods that are good in themselves, and marginally enhance a day, but are not aspects of action; these do not contribute to eudaimonia. Aristotle demands a modicum of external goods for eudaimonia, a context of action that is not simply unwelcome, and a ‘complete life’ that may be less than a lifetime. His privileging of the life of intellectual contemplation is problematic, but does not entail that one should sacrifice everything (and everyone) else to doing more mathematics.

Keywords:   eudaimonia, living well, acting well, whole, parts, final end, complete life, external goods, contemplation

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