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Intrinsically Valued Parts of Happiness

Intrinsically Valued Parts of Happiness Aristotle, Butler, and Mill Nicholas White, University of Utah Many recent interpretations of ancient ethics have been devised with systematic philosophical intentions. Their purpose is to tell us not merely what ancient philosophers thought, but what we ought to think. Often these interpretations are attempts to escape what seem to be unnecessary restrictions of modern ideas by showing how historical figures were able to do without them. Such interpetations are rightly the subject of philosophical as well as historical scru- tiny. This is true of recent efforts to interpret Aristotle’s views about eŒdaimon–a (for which I also use the words “happiness” and “wellbeing”). The interpretation in question I label “inclusivist” and “pluralist”. It treats happiness as consis- ting of a plurality of “parts” or “constituents”. These “parts of happiness” are thought of mainly as “activities,” in accordance with Aristotle’s statement in Nicomachean Ethics I.7 that happiness is “activity of the soul in accordance with virtue.” This interpretation assumes that Aristotle’s word “activity” here (‚nËrgeia) can be taken to cover a compound activity which has various activi- ties as constituents. In recent Anglo-American scholarship this interpretation has been defended for mainly historical purposes by, for example, John Ackrill and John http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png History of Philosophy and Logical Analysis Brill

Intrinsically Valued Parts of Happiness

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
2666-4283
eISSN
2666-4275
DOI
10.30965/26664275-00201011
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Aristotle, Butler, and Mill Nicholas White, University of Utah Many recent interpretations of ancient ethics have been devised with systematic philosophical intentions. Their purpose is to tell us not merely what ancient philosophers thought, but what we ought to think. Often these interpretations are attempts to escape what seem to be unnecessary restrictions of modern ideas by showing how historical figures were able to do without them. Such interpetations are rightly the subject of philosophical as well as historical scru- tiny. This is true of recent efforts to interpret Aristotle’s views about eŒdaimon–a (for which I also use the words “happiness” and “wellbeing”). The interpretation in question I label “inclusivist” and “pluralist”. It treats happiness as consis- ting of a plurality of “parts” or “constituents”. These “parts of happiness” are thought of mainly as “activities,” in accordance with Aristotle’s statement in Nicomachean Ethics I.7 that happiness is “activity of the soul in accordance with virtue.” This interpretation assumes that Aristotle’s word “activity” here (‚nËrgeia) can be taken to cover a compound activity which has various activi- ties as constituents. In recent Anglo-American scholarship this interpretation has been defended for mainly historical purposes by, for example, John Ackrill and John

Journal

History of Philosophy and Logical AnalysisBrill

Published: Apr 5, 1999

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