Frans Svensson
University of Gothenburg
My main concern in this paper is to develop and defend an account of why we ought to devote our lives to virtue—of the ground or reason for why we ought to do so—according to René Descartes. On my account, the answer is that we thereby, and indeed only thereby, do everything in our power to promote our own degree of intrinsic perfection or goodness. Descartes’s moral philosophy, as I understand it, thus constitutes a form of ethical perfectionism. While I am not the first to interpret Descartes as an ethical perfectionist, there is as of yet no detailed account in the literature of what his particular form of ethical perfectionism would then entail. This is something that I hope to remedy here.
Keywords ethical perfectionism   perfectionism about value   virtue  Descartes  Descartes  ethical perfectionism  perfectionism about value  virtue
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DOI 10.32881/jomp.66
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References found in this work BETA

Never Let the Passions Be Your Guide: Descartes and the Role of the Passions.Shoshana Brassfield - 2012 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (3):459-477.
Descartes on the Highest Good.Frans Svensson - 2019 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 93 (4):701-721.
Learning to Love: From Egoism to Generosity in Descartes.Patrick Frierson - 2002 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 40 (3):313-338.
Descartes' 'Provisional Morality'.Joseph Cimakasky & Ronald Polansky - 2012 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (3):353-372.

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