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[2] As far as the name goes, we may almost say that the great majority of mankind are agreed about this; for both the multitude and persons of refinement speak of it as Happiness,1 and conceive ‘the good life’ or ‘doing well’2 to be the same thing as ‘being happy.’ But what constitutes happiness is a matter of dispute; and the popular account of it is not the same as that given by the philosophers.

1 This translation of εὐδαιμονία can hardly be avoided, but it would perhaps be more accurately rendered by ‘Well-being’ or ‘Prosperity’; and it will be found that the writer does not interpret it as a state of feeling but as a kind of activity.

2 The English phrase preserves the ambiguity of the Greek, which in its ordinary acceptation rather means ‘faring well’ than ‘acting well,’ though in the sequel Aristotle diverts it to the active sense.

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