In Eileen O’Neill & Marcy P. Lascano (eds.), Feminist History of Philosophy: The Recovery and Evaluation of Women’s Philosophical Thought. Springer. pp. 175-191 (2019)

Lisa Shapiro
Simon Fraser University
In this paper, I examine Marie Thiroux D’Arconville’s moral psychology as presented in two of her works: Des Passions [On the Passions] and De L’Amitié [On Friendship]. This moral psychology is somewhat unique as it centers human action on three principal sentiments: l’amour, which is best understood as lust or a physical love; l’ambition, the principal human vice; and l’amitié, a characteristic friendship proper to the truly virtuous. I aim to show that these three passions tell a story of moral development. Through l’amour we come to form projects and engage in goal directed action, and thus become moral agents. While l'ambition is, for her, the cause of many of the horrors of human history, I suggest that Thiroux D’Arconville also sees it as the passion through which we come to form collective projects. Finally, in her account of l’amitié we can find her account of virtue. Interestingly, while Thiroux D’Arconville talks of virtue as a matter of choosing well, she does not offer a voluntarist account of choice. Rather, I argue, she models moral choices on a naturalist Stoic model. I will also discuss Thiroux D’Arconville’s very interesting remarks on relations between men and women, including those regarding sexual desires, marriage, and friendship.
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DOI 10.1007/978-3-030-18118-5_8
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