Aristotle's Eudaimonia
..And although reason helps us to eat and move around, it is not subservient to those lower functions...[R]eason...is what human life is all about(Nagel 11).

There are two interpretations of Aristotle's assertions on what is correct and proper for man to do based on his ergon. The intellectualist view claims that Aristotle saw theoria, or contemplation, as the only component of a good life. All other states and activities are necessary and desirable only for the performance of rational thought, the one worthwhile or even proper function of human life (Ackrill 16). Thus, digestion, reproduction, virtue, excellence: all of these are experienced to promote and maintain a life of contemplation.

Therefore whatever mode of choosing and of acquiring things good by nature - whether goods of body or wealth or friends or the other goods - will best promote the contemplation of God, that is the best mode...This is how it is for the soul, and this is the soul's best standard - to be as far as possible unconscious of the irrational part of the soul...(Aristotle, as quoted in Nagel 7)

Other philosophers believe that Aristotle had a comprehensive view of eudaimonia, that he believed it to encompass functions besides contemplation.

[H]e also regards growth, motion, perception, scientific understanding, and political activity as essential to a fully developed human life...Eudaimonia c

 
 
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