The Good Life

We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

– Aristotle

Aristotle makes two central claims about the content of eudaimonia or “happiness”:

  • happiness is the activity of the soul in alignment with virtue (high moral standards)
  • happiness needs external goods

According to Aristotle the meaning of human life is to live well by satisfying our natural needs and cultivating good habits based on things that are good for us. These include:

  1. Goods of the body: Health, physical strength, looks, vitality, athletic ability etc.
  2. External goods: Wealth, food, drink, shelter, clothing, fame, honor, power etc.
  3. Internal goods/goods of the soul: Knowledge, skill, love, friendship, aesthetic appreciation, self-esteem, honor, projects, education, artistic creativity, friendship etc.

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