“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence”
This is one of those "quotations" attributed to "Aristotle" that replicate on the Internet like airborne viruses. You'll notice that, in all the thousands of times it appears on the Web, it's never attributed to a specific work.
If you're familiar with Aristotle's actual views on happiness (in both the Eudemian and Nicomachaean Ethics
), the "quotation" is going to look too sentimental and non-analytical to be by Aristotle, who was always careful to associate happiness with the pursuit of goodness and the virtuous life. He was careful to distinguish two different Greek words for "happiness:" εὐτυχία (good fortune) and εὐδαιμονία (blessedness, literally "god-blessedness"). Only the latter does he consider to be true happiness, the result of a life dedicated to high ethical values.
However, your good research has not been in vain, Agapi. In the passage from the Eudemian Ethics
that you show us, there's this genuine quotation from Aristotle, and it looks like a keeper: ἡ γὰρ εὐδαιμονία κάλλιστον καὶ ἄριστον ἁπάντων οὖσα ἥδιστον ἐστίν
— "For happiness (blessedness), being the finest and noblest of all things, is also the sweetest."
That statement is in response to a famous old inscription on Leto's temple on Delos that proclaims that the sweetest thing of all is to get what you want — in other words, εὐτυχία, the "wrong" kind of happiness.
Oh, well, we all have our own definition of happiness, don't we? There's a long list of them on our site here: see http://www.translatum.gr/forum/index.php?topic=787.0
. My personal favorite is from William S. Burroughs: "Happiness is the byproduct of struggle in a battle context." (Place of Dead Roads)
What do you think?