Happiness and Luck (NE I and X.6–8)

Howard J. Curzer

in Aristotle and the Virtues

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199693726
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738890 | DOI:
Happiness and Luck (NE I and X.6–8)

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An enormous amount has been written about Aristotle’s account of happiness, almost all of it focused on the question of whether the supremely happy life of X.6–8 is a contemplative life or a contemplative/ethical blend. Each interpretation faces serious problems. This chapter goes between the horns by taking Aristotle to be advocating a life of thoughtful, morally virtuous activity. Since the activity of reflection is what makes the agent happy, this life is rightly called contemplative. But since reflection can be performed along with almost all morally virtuous activity, contemplators need not strive to minimize their morally virtuous activity in order to maximize their contemplation.

Keywords: happiness; eudaimonia; luck; goods of fortune; self-sufficient; final; complete; contemplation; mixed life; supremely happy life

Chapter.  18923 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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