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and not among external goods.1 [4]

Again, our definition accords with the description of the happy man as one who ‘lives well’ or ‘does well’; for it has virtually identified happiness with a form of good life or doing well.2 [5]

And moreover all the various characteristics that are looked for in happiness are found to belong to the Good as we define it. [6] Some people think happiness is goodness or virtue, others prudence, others a form of wisdom; others again say it is all of these things, or one of them, in combination with pleasure, or accompanied by pleasure as an indispensable adjunct; another school include external prosperity as a concomitant factor. [7] Some of these views have been held by many people and from ancient times, others by a few distinguished men, and neither class is likely to be altogether mistaken; the probability is that their beliefs are at least partly, or indeed mainly, correct. [8]

Now with those who pronounce happiness to be virtue, or some particular virtue, our definition is in agreement; for ‘activity in conformity with virtue’ involves virtue. [9] But no doubt it makes a great difference whether we conceive the Supreme Good to depend on possessing virtue or on displaying it—on disposition, or on the manifestation of a disposition in action. For a man may possess the disposition without its producing any good result,

1 See 8.2, first note.

2 Cf. 4.2 note.

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