The motivational state of the virtuous agent

Philosophical Psychology 25 (1):93 - 108 (2011)
Abstract
Julia Annas argues that Aristotle's understanding of the phenomenological experience of the virtuous agent corresponds to psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's concept of the ?flow,? which is a form of intrinsic motivation. In this paper, I explore whether or not Annas? understanding of virtuous agency is a plausible one. After a thorough analysis of psychological accounts of intrinsic and extrinsic states of motivation, I argue that despite the attractiveness of Annas? understanding of virtuous agency, it is subject to a serious problem: all virtuous activities are not ones that we take pleasure in independently of their connection to ?virtue.? Moreover, somewhat sadly, we have no compelling reason to think that they can become so. Our psychology is not constituted to find the exercise of virtue, in all of its extensions, interesting and enjoyable, apart from its connection to virtue
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    References found in this work BETA
    S. Abuhamdeh, J. Nakamura & M. Csikszentmihalyi (2005). Flow. In Andrew J. Elliot & Carol S. Dweck (eds.), Handbook of Competence and Motivation. The Guilford Press. 598--608.
    Julia Annas (2008). The Phenomenology of Virtue. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 7 (1):21-34.

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