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  1. Happiness, Well-Being, and Their Relation to Virtue in Descartes' Ethics.Frans Svensson - 2011 - Theoria 77 (3):238-260.
    My main thesis in this article is that Descartes' ethics should be understood as involving a distinction between happiness and well-being. The distinction I have in mind is never clearly stated or articulated by Descartes himself, but I argue that we nevertheless have good reason to embrace it as an important component in a charitable reconstruction of his ethical thought. In section I, I present Descartes' account of happiness and of how he thinks happiness can (and cannot) be acquired. Then, (...)
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  • Descartes on Hatred.Melanie Tate - 2017 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 55 (3):336-349.
    This paper examines Descartes’ account of hatred. Descartes holds that individuals should not hate, because hatred separates us from goods, causes sadness, and produces vicious character traits. Although some scholars argue that hatred is necessary to protect the body, I argue that Descartes holds that hatred is not necessary to protect the body, because there are other means of protecting the body that do not involve hatred. I conclude this paper by showing the place of hatred in Descartes’ broader moral (...)
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  • Descartes on the Unity of the Virtues.Saja Parvizian - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Research.
    Commentators have neglected a tension in Descartes’ virtue theory. In some texts, Descartes seems to argue that there are distinct virtues. In other texts, Descartes seems to argue that there is only a single virtue–the firm and constant resolution to use the will well. In this paper, I reconcile this tension. I argue that Descartes endorses a specific version of the unity of the virtues thesis, namely, the identity of the virtues. Nonetheless, Descartes has the resources to draw conceptual distinctions (...)
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  • On the Systematicity of Descartes' Ethics: Generosity, Metaphysics, and Scientia.Saja Parvizian - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Illinois at Chicago
    Descartes is not widely recognized for his ethics; indeed, most readers are unaware that he had an ethics. However, Descartes placed great importance on his ethics, claiming that ethics is the highest branch of his philosophical system. I aim to understand the systematic relationship Descartes envisions between his ethics and the rest of his philosophy, particularly his metaphysics and epistemology. I defend three main theses. First, I argue against the recent trend in the literature that claims that the chief virtue (...)
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  • Non-Eudaimonism, The Sufficiency of Virtue for Happiness, and Two Senses of the Highest Good in Descartes's Ethics.Frans Svensson - 2015 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 23 (2):277-296.
    In his reflections on ethics, Descartes distances himself from the eudaimonistic tradition in moral philosophy by introducing a distinction between happiness and the highest good. While happiness, in Descartes’s view, consists in an inner state of complete harmony and satisfaction, the highest good instead consists in virtue, i.e. in ‘a firm and constant resolution' to always use our free will well or correctly. In Section 1 of this paper, I pursue the Cartesian distinction between happiness and the highest good in (...)
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