Do the Virtues Make You Happy?

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4454/philinq.v7i2.235

Keywords:

neo-Aristotelianism, virtue, deep happiness, practical rationality, virtue egoism

Abstract

We answer the title question with a qualified “No.” We arrive at this answer by spelling out what the proper place of the con- cept ‘happiness’ is in a neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics: (1) Happiness in the sense of personal well-being has only a loose relation to virtue; it doesn’t deserve any prominent place in virtue ethics. (2) Happi- ness in the sense of flourishing is impossible without virtue, but that doesn’t imply that individual actions should aim at flourishing. (3) Instead, flourishing sets the standard of good practical reasoning; it is hardly ever the proper aim of a practical inference.

This paper begins with a common (mis)interpretation of neo- Aristotelian virtue ethics, on which it is a form of rational egoism. We then develop our alternative understanding against this foil.

Author Biography

Ulf Hlobil, Concordia University

Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy

Published

2019-11-05

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