Eudaimonia -human flourishing.

I have been watching the BIF sessions live (http://businessinnovationfactory.com) . This is a sensational place to listen to peoples stories and simply stand back and get inspired.

One word is coming up often- “Eudaimonia”. So I went over to Wikipedia to take a look after one person at BIF said it is “life well lived” and “we learnt through practicial wisdom”

It is looking to make us happy and I felt this was worth sharing here- societal innovation needs this human flourishing. Think about this, it sounds something right for the moment.

Wikipedia had these explainations:

Eudaimonia or eudaemonia (Ancient Greek: εὐδαιμονία [eu̯dai̯monía]), sometimes Anglicized as eudemonia (play /juːdɨˈmniə/), is a Greek word commonly translated as happiness or welfare; however, “human flourishing” has been proposed as a more accurate translation

Eudaimonia depends on all the things that would make us happy if we knew of their existence, but quite independently of whether we do know about them.

Ascribing eudaimonia to a person, then, may include ascribing such things as being virtuous, being loved and having good friends. But these are all objective judgments about someone’s life: they concern a person’s really being virtuous, really being loved, and really having fine friends. This implies that a person who has evil sons and daughters will not be judged to be eudaimonic even if he or she does not know that they are evil and feels pleased and contented with the way they have turned out (happy).

Conversely, being loved by your children would not count towards your happiness if you did not know that they loved you (and perhaps thought that they did not), but it would count towards your eudaimonia.

So eudaimonia corresponds to the idea of having an objectively good or desirable life, to some extent independently of whether one knows that certain things exist or not. It includes conscious experiences of well being, success, and failure, but also a whole lot more. (See Aristotle’s discussion: Nicomachean Ethics, book 1.10–1.11.)

So for us in Society?

Where does this fit for us all? A life ‘well lived’ is what everyone should have, learnt not through suffering and pain, but in having the chance to contribute, to be valued, to make a contribution. To allow people to flourish, let them be aware of their value and worth

Footnote

Umair Haque made reference to this and offered this as a thought- a life well lived, about people and not stuff and people living lives that matter -he suggests a time for a quantum leap

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About paul4innovating

I research innovation and provide insights & advice to individuals, teams, and organizations
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3 Responses to Eudaimonia -human flourishing.

  1. Pingback: New post Eudaimonia -human flourishing. « David C Roberts

  2. Reading this post Paul reminded me of Viktor Frankl and his lecture about how by looking for the very best in people they can flourish to be the best that they can. Maybe one strand of Societal Innovation may be described as understanding ways in which each of us can have the opportunity to be values and to make a contribution to our society. Maybe this is the core of Societal Innovation?

  3. Pingback: An unexamined life is not worth living - Philosophers

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