Eudaemonia /yüdēˈmōnēə / noun
Definition: Eudaemonia is literally translated from Greek as “good spirit.” More broadly, it is defined as happiness, welfare, or well-being. Aristotelian ethics uses the word to describe the highest human good, which is the ultimate goal of life.
Etymology: Eudaemonia, sometimes spelled eudaimonia or eudemonia, is a Greek word. It is an abstract noun that combines eû, meaning “good” or “well,” and daímōn, which could mean “dispenser,” “tutelary deity,” or “indwelling spirit.” Daímōn shares the same root as the Ancient Greek verb daíomai, meaning “to divide.” This could indicate that eudaemonia refers to an action linked to dividing or dispensing in a positive way.
Ancient Greek philosophers often incorporated eudaemonia into their beliefs. Aristotle proposed three lifestyles that could lead to eudaemonia: a life of pleasure, a life of political activity, and a life of philosophy. Epicurus held a hedonistic philosophy and believed a life of pleasure led to eudaemonia.
In a Sentence
Many philosophers seek eudaemonia, but none agree on how to get it.
Eudaemonia is often translated as “happiness,” but that doesn’t convey the full meaning.
Aristotle believed that eudaemonia came from a life of “virtuous activity in accordance with reason.”