The Ergon-Energeia perspective in the interpretation of Aristotle's eudaimonia


College of Liberal Arts


Theology and Religious Education

Document Type

Archival Material/Manuscript


Eὐδαιμονία or happiness represents an important issue in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. In this work, Aristotle endeavors to clarify its constitution by pointing out that this ultimate end of human being consists in an activity of the soul in accordance with excellence.

Aristotle’s discussion, nevertheless, raises a number of difficulties that continue to divide commentators. Most significant of these difficulties concerns the very interpretation of what Aristotle means by the idea that εὐδαιμονία is primarily a contemplative activity.

In this paper, I would like to present a perspective that has been ignored for the most part by various interpretations. I will argue that the εργoν-ενεργεια (translated function-activity in English) perspective can help us see the debate in another light.

I have divided this paper into three sections. First, I begin with some remarks about εὐδαιμονία. Then in the second part I will make a brief exposition of the various interpretations of Aristotle’s teaching. Finally, in the third section, I will present my own interpretation of the issue at hand, exploiting the significance of two related Greek words namely εργoν and ενεργεια.



Applied Ethics



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