Rosalind Hursthouse has an entry on virtue ethics in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, where she tries to explain why “happiness” is not an adequate translation of the Greek word eudaimonia (human flourishing, blessedness, good life). The trouble with “happiness,” she says, is that in contemporary English
it connotes something which is subjectively determined. It is for me, not for you, to pronounce on whether I am happy, or on whether my life, as a whole, has been a happy one, for, barring, perhaps, advanced cases of self-deception and the suppression of unconscious misery, if I think I am happy then I am — it is not something I can be wrong about.
I think Hursthouse is severely understating matters here. Continue reading