Divine and human happiness in nicomachean ethics

Philosophical Review 117 (1):49-75 (2008)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

presents a puzzle as to whether Aristotle views morally virtuous activity as happiness, as book 1 seems to indicate, or philosophical contemplation as happiness, as book 10 seems to indicate. The most influential attempts to resolve this issue have been either monistic or inclusivist. According to the monists, happiness consists exclusively of contemplation. According to the inclusivists, contemplation is one constituent of happiness, but morally virtuous activity is another. In this essay I will examine influential defenses of monism. Finding these accounts superior to inclusivism, but still deficient, I will present and defend a dualistic account of happiness in which two different types of happiness, one divine and one human, are present in Nicomachean Ethics. When Aristotle commends contemplation as a happiness that humans can attain, he is careful to specify that this activity corresponds to a capacity (nous) that is not, properly speaking, human, even though humans can exercise it. Contemplation, the divine good, is the highest good that humans can obtain, but it is not the characteristic human good. The characteristic human good corresponds to the specifically and merely human function, which is an activity of the compound of human reason and emotions.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,310

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Living Under the Guidance of Reason: Arne Naess's Interpretation of Spinoza.Espen Gamlund - 2011 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 54 (1):2-17.
Cooper on Ancient Ethics.R. Heinaman - 2000 - Polis 17 (1-2):161-185.
On the Eudemian and Nicomachean Conceptions of Eudaimonia.Roopen Majithia - 2005 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 79 (3):365-388.
Aristotle on Well-Being and Intellectual Contemplation: David Charles.David Charles - 1999 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 73 (1):205–223.
The Nicomachean Ethics.Lesley Brown (ed.) - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
What is This Thing Called Happiness?Fred Feldman - 2010 - Oxford University Press.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
232 (#51,672)

6 months
4 (#171,352)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

Aristotle on Eudaimonia.J. L. Ackrill - 1974 - In Amélie Oksenberg Rorty (ed.), Essays on Aristotle's Ethics. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. pp. 15-34.
Aristotle on Eudaimonia.J. L. Ackrill - 1975 - Oxford University Press.
Aristotle on the Human Good.Richard Kraut - 1989 - Princeton University Press.
Aristotle’s Ethical Theory.W. F. R. Hardie - 1968 - Oxford University Press.
Aristotle on the Human Good.Richard KRAUT - 1989 - Ethics 101 (2):382-391.

View all 19 references / Add more references