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Happiness is not a happy life

Tuesday, October 5, 2021, 3:40 pm – 5:20 pm

This colloquium talk is planned as an in-person event. Registration by email is only required for non-CEU members. Please check the COVID safety rules here to enter the building.


Many people claim that, according Aristotle, happiness is a happy life. This is not the case. The talk focuses on the Nicomachean Ethics and argues that happiness (eudaimōnia) is contemplation (theōria) in accordance with what Aristotle repeatedly says in Book 10 of the Nicomachean Ethics. However, happy life (eudaimōn bios) is a complex way of life which includes not only theoretical activity but also the exercising of other virtues including the so-called moral or social ones. The lecture shows that Aristotle differentiates between happiness on the one hand and the happy or fulfilled life on the other, and shows how this distinction clarifies Aristotle’s account of happiness.