Well-being and virtue


Authors
Dan Haybron
Saint Louis University
Abstract
Perfectionist views of well-being maintain that well-being ultimately consists, at least partly, in excellence or virtue. This paper argues that such views are untenable, focusing on Aristotelian perfectionism. The argument appeals, first, to intuitive counterexamples to perfectionism. A second worry is that it seems impossible to interpret perfection in a manner that yields both a plausible view of well-being and a strong link between morality and well-being. Third, perfectionist treatments of pleasure are deeply implausible. Fourth, perfectionism rests on a misunderstanding about the nature of our interest in prudential and perfectionist values. Finally, perfectionism’s appeal seems to depend heavily on a failure to distinguish the notions of well-being and the good life.
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Reprint years 2007, 2008
DOI 10.26556/jesp.v2i2.21
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References found in this work BETA

On Virtue Ethics.Rosalind Hursthouse - 1999 - Oxford University Press.
The Morality of Happiness.Julia Annas - 1993 - Oxford University Press.
Natural Goodness.Philippa Foot & Thomas Hurka - 2001 - Mind 112 (445):130-139.
Perfectionism.Thomas Hurka - 1993 - Oxford University Press.
Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy.Bernard Williams - 1986 - Journal of Philosophy 83 (6):351-360.

View all 25 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Perpetual Struggle.Kathryn J. Norlock - 2018 - Hypatia 34 (1):6-19.
Who Lives a Life Worth Living?Finn Janning - 2013 - Philosophical Papers and Review 4 (1):8-16.
Constructivist Experimental Philosophy on Well-Being and Virtue.Matthew Braddock - 2010 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 48 (3):295-323.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

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Kant's Conception of Virtue.Lara Denis - 2006 - In Paul Guyer (ed.), Cambridge Companion to Kant and Modern Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
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On Virtue Ethics.Rosalind Hursthouse - 1999 - Oxford University Press.

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