Eudaimonism, Teleology, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Faith and Philosophy 26 (3):274-296 (2009)
Recent interest among both philosophers and the wider public in the tradition of virtue ethics often takes its inspiration from Aristotle or from Thomas Aquinas. In this essay I briefly outline the ethical approaches of these two towering figures, and then describe more fully the virtue ethics of Meister Eckhart, a medieval thinker who admired, though critically, both Aristotle and Aquinas. His related but distinctively original approach to the virtuous life is marked by a striking and seemingly paradoxical injunction to “live without why.”
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