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The concept of eudaimonia in the book I of Ethica Nicomachea

Grant number: 12/21582-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2013
Effective date (End): December 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - History of Philosophy
Principal researcher:Lucas Angioni
Grantee:Angelo Antonio Pires de Oliveira
Home Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


In the book I of Ethica Nicomachea, Aristotle introduces the concept of eudaimonia and assigns to it certain characteristics. In Aristotle's view, eudaimonia must be (I) an activity of the soul in accordance with virtue, and, in case there is more than one virtue, with the best and most complete/perfect one; (II) self-sufficient, making life desirable and fulfilling; (III) never be desired in view of another end; and (IV) not be counted among other goods. Given these characteristics, the interpreters of Ethica Nicomachea differ among themselves as to what might be regarded as eudaimonia. There are two main interpretive traditions. In the first, the dominant thesis, eudaimonia would be the ideal of contemplative life presented by Aristotle in book X, but which had somehow been first outlined in book I. For such interpreters, perfect virtue is theoretical wisdom as well as theoretical activity is the most self-sufficient of all goods. In the second view, Aristotle is seen as the proponent of an inclusive conception of eudaimonia, in which the eudaimonia cannot be constituted of only one good, but should be understood as a composite of the goods that make up the life of the man, a self-sufficient and fulfilled life. The frameworks thus described are based on the characteristics listed above for the identification of eudaimonia. The present research intends to investigate, in light of such interpretive traditions, the concept of eudaimonia exposed by Aristotle in book I of Ethica Nicomachea, by focusing on how he develops such concept throughout the book. (AU)

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