Chapter

Individual Good and Deliberative Conflict in Aristotle

Nicholas White

in Individual and Conflict in Greek Ethics

Published in print June 2002 | ISBN: 9780198250593
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598661 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198250592.003.0006
 Individual Good and Deliberative Conflict in Aristotle

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Although Aristotle's ethics is rightly characterized as eudaimonist, in making the happiness of an individual his preeminent aim, it does not adopt the harmonizing eudaimonist position that all constituents of human happiness are consistent with each other. For one thing, he holds that there can be conflicts between friends. In addition, he maintains that conflicts within happiness can break out, between the value of acting in a morally virtuous way and that of pursuing intellectual virtue or contemplation (theoria). Aristotle thus admits the possibility of conflict within virtue, and therefore within happiness, which is defined as activity in accordance with virtue. He accordingly does not use the notion of virtue, let alone an ethics of virtue, to construct a harmonizing view of happiness.

Keywords: Aristotle; contemplation; deliberative conflict; eudaimonia; eudaimonism; friendship; happiness; individual good; philia; theoria; virtue

Chapter.  40181 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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