A Better Kind of Happiness: Aristotle’s eudaemonia and Brian R. Little 'core' projects

“It’s living in a way that fulfills our purpose,” Helen Morales, a classicist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, told me. “It’s flourishing. Aristotle was saying, ‘Stop hoping for happiness tomorrow. Happiness is being engaged in the process.’ ”

What is our purpose? If you ask Aristotle, it's reason. Yet reason is barely touched upon in the article. There is no reference in the article to the crucial point of Aristotle's argument: eudaimonia depends on the exercise of rationality as a faculty unique to humans as a species. It's not just the wishy-washy "get engaged, have dreams, make projects, live a fulfilling life" stance the article portrays.

Also, and most importantly, the article says nothing as to how people were surveyed for eudaimonia. I glimpsed through the actual study and found that it is based on the Short Flourishing Scale: http://internal.psychology.illinois.edu/~ediener/Documents/FS.pdf

None of the items of the scale has anything to do with human rationality. "I am competent and capable in the activities that are important to me" is the one it comes closest, and it leaves a lot to be desired. Thus, the study has nothing to do with Aristotle at all. This is not a fault within the study: it simply means the article, which links the study to Aristotelic eudaimonia is crap. Someone likely just read the word eudaimonia and went: "Wait, didn't Aristotle use the word too? I can totally make an article out of this".

Bottom line: it's yet another piece of poor scientific divulgation.

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