Social Philosophy and Policy 15 (1):37 (1998)

The two most important and central concepts in ancient ethical theory are those of virtue and happiness. This is well-known by now, as is the way that many scholars and philosophers have in recent years investigated the structure of ancient ethical theories, at least partly in the hope that this would help us in our modern ethical thinking by introducing us to developed theories which escape the problems that have led to so much frustration with deontological and consequentialist approaches. And there has indeed been considerable interest in developing modern forms of ethics which draw inspiration, to a greater or lesser extent, from the ancient theories. However, there is an asymmetry here. Modern theories which take their inspiration from Aristotle and other ancient theorists are standardly called virtue ethics, not happiness ethics. We have rediscovered the appeal of aretē, but eudaimonia is still, it appears, problematic for us. This has an important consequence for us, for in ancient theories virtue is not discussed in isolation; it is seen as part of a larger structure in which the overarching concept is happiness. If we focus on virtue alone and ignore its relation to happiness, we are missing a large part of the interest that study of the ancient theories can offer
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DOI 10.1017/s0265052500003058
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References found in this work BETA

Two Conceptions of Happiness.Richard Kraut - 1979 - Philosophical Review 88 (2):167-197.
Happiness Now and Then.L. W. Sumner - 2002 - Apeiron 35 (4):21-40.

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Wisdom as an Expert Skill.Jason D. Swartwood - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (3):511-528.
Eudaimonism in the Mencius: Fulfilling the Heart.Benjamin I. Huff - 2015 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 14 (3):403-431.

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