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Additional resources for Different Meanings Of The Term Energeia In The Philosophy Of Aristotle

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So, is eudaimonia then just the possession of a good character? Surely not just that: one might have a good character and spend one’s life in sleep, or in an irreversible coma. A fulfilled life must at least involve acting in such a way as to express the good character that one has. In I, 8 Aristotle returns to this view, and shows how it fits with what many people might have said in the first place. 3 3 In I, 6 Aristotle spends some time in a technical refutation of Plato’s view that to explain a good life one needs to hold that there exists a Form of the Good.

Even if they do, would such activity have anything to do with living a fulfilled life? Could fulfilment, so defined, be a proper basis for ethics? Let us consider these in turn. 14 15 Aristotle’s phrase which I have translated ‘well’ or ‘properly’ is kat’ arete¯ n. What I have said is intended to give the gist of I, 7, 1098a16–18, rather than to translate it exactly. ’ Aristotle speaks of several excellences, where my paraphrase speaks of several activities each properly performed. ’ 4 (1097b28–33), might be to say that if he means to ask whether there 5 are any human activities which other organisms cannot perform, then 6 the answer is that there seem to be many characteristically human activ7 ities: thinking, playing chess, giving to charity, embezzling money, 8 lying, breaking promises, conducting genetic research.

Well, maybe it is easy enough to distinguish ‘higher’ from ‘lower’ pleasures if one takes carefully selected examples like the lager-lout or the beach-bum on the one hand, and, on the other, a woman who takes delight in her family and who has thoroughly enjoyed her career as a barrister. Other examples might not be so simply classified. What about a jockey turned horse-trainer who just loves working with horses? Is that a higher or lower pleasure? 2 1096a10–12. What about a miser who simply wants to have money just for the sake of counting it over and over?

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