Paul Bloomfield: The Virtues of Happiness. A Theory of the Good Life: Oxford / New York: Oxford University Press 2014, 272 pages, ISBN: 978-0-19-982736-7, £41.99

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (4):881-882 (2015)


“Aristotle is the father of virtue ethics, and virtue ethics is hot”, Howard Curzer states in the introduction of his Aristotle and the virtues . Aristotelian virtue ethics has attracted so much attention that it has become one of the three major approaches in normative ethics since its revival in post-war Anglo-Saxon philosophy. In his new book, Paul Bloomfield is, like these virtue ethicists, not so much interested in the modern ethical question of how to treat others, but in the ancient Greek question how we should lead a good life. He also adopts from the Greeks the idea that moral virtues are conducive to a happy or well-lived life. The book, however, states that the assumption that the moral life is better than its alternatives should not be taken for granted. For example, as we all know of bad people who seem to be happy and successful, we are in need of an argument that shows why virtue is even necessary for people who only care about their self-interest.Despite his inter ..

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