Authors
Sukaina Hirji
University of Pennsylvania
Abstract
It is commonly assumed that Aristotle's ethical theory shares deep structural similarities with neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics. I argue that this assumption is a mistake, and that Aristotle's ethical theory is both importantly distinct from the theories his work has inspired, and independently compelling. I take neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics to be characterized by two central commitments: (i) virtues of character are defined as traits that reliably promote an agent's own flourishing, and (ii) virtuous actions are defined as the sorts of actions a virtuous agent reliably performs under the relevant circumstances. I argue that neither of these commitments are features of Aristotle's own view, and I sketch an alternative explanation for the relationship between virtue and happiness in the Nicomachean Ethics. Although, on the interpretation I defend, we do not find in Aristotle a distinctive normative theory alongside deontology and consequentialism, what we do find is a way of thinking about how prudential and moral reasons can come to be aligned through a certain conception of practical agency.
Keywords virtue ethics  Aristotle  ancient philosophy  eudaimonia  Rosalind Hursthouse  Virtue  philosophy of action  neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics
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DOI 10.1111/phpr.12520
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References found in this work BETA

Ethics Without Principles.Jonathan Dancy - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
On Virtue Ethics.Rosalind Hursthouse - 1999 - Oxford University Press.
Virtue and Reason.John McDowell - 1979 - The Monist 62 (3):331-350.

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Aristotle for the Modern Ethicist.Sophia Connell - 2019 - Ancient Philosophy Today 1 (2):192-214.

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