Psychological Eudaimonism: A Reading of Aristotle

John Davenport

in Will as Commitment and Resolve

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780823225750
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235896 | DOI:
Psychological Eudaimonism: A Reading               of Aristotle

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This chapter focuses on Aristotle's eudaimonism as a case study and argues that when eudaimonia in the Nicomachean Ethics is understood as holistically including all other human goods, we can construct a theory known as A-eudaimonism, in which there is a unique highest good, the desire for which embraces and underlies all other desires. The question is whether such a conception of motivation is compatible with the virtue ethics that it is supposed to support. In providing an interpretative reconstruction of several key ideas in Nicomachean Ethics, some reference to St. Thomas Aquinas's Treatise on Happiness is made. This chapter also discusses three criteria for the highest good, along with self-sufficiency as a maximally comprehensive or holistically inclusive relation, maximal inclusivism, virtue inclusivism, and dominant-end models.

Keywords: Aristotle; eudaimonism; A-eudaimonism; Nicomachean Ethics; human good; highest good; desire; motivation; virtue ethics; self-sufficiency

Chapter.  13847 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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