Chapter

Betting on Virtue

Mike W. Martin

in Happiness and the Good Life

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199845217
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933068 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199845217.003.0003
Betting on Virtue

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As Rosalind Hursthouse suggests, the virtues are a good bet in pursuing happiness, albeit by no means a sure bet. Specific virtues contribute to happiness in vastly many ways. As a preliminary sampling, I discuss nine virtues grouped in three categories: (1) virtues of the heart, centered on valuing what is good (gratitude, self-respect, love), (2) virtues of the will, centered on strength in pursuing what is good (courage, self-control, hope), and (3) virtues of reason, centered on wisdom (moral understanding, humility, mindfulness). Positive psychologists are studying how these and many other virtues contribute to happiness, and vice versa, and their ongoing discoveries should be taken seriously by ethicists.

Keywords: happiness; virtues; gratitude; wisdom; hope; self-control; mindfulness; positive psychology

Chapter.  7582 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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