Loving the Fine: Virtue and Happiness in Aristotle's Ethics

Overview

"Assuming that people want to be happy, can we show that they cannot be happy without being ethical, and that all rational people therefore should be able to see that it is in their own best interest to be ethical? Is it irrational to reject ethics? Aristotle thought so, claims Anna Lannstrom; but, she adds, he also thought that there was no way to prove it to a skeptic or an immoral person." Lannstrom probes Artistotle's view that desire is crucial to decision making and to the formation of moral habits, pinpointing the "love of the fine" as the ...
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Overview

"Assuming that people want to be happy, can we show that they cannot be happy without being ethical, and that all rational people therefore should be able to see that it is in their own best interest to be ethical? Is it irrational to reject ethics? Aristotle thought so, claims Anna Lannstrom; but, she adds, he also thought that there was no way to prove it to a skeptic or an immoral person." Lannstrom probes Artistotle's view that desire is crucial to decision making and to the formation of moral habits, pinpointing the "love of the fine" as the starting point of any argument for ethics. Those who love the fine can be persuaded that ethics is a crucial part of our happiness. However, as Lannstrom explains, the immoral person does not share this love, and therefore Aristotle denied that any argument would convince the immoral person to become good. Lannstrom maintains that Aristotle's Ethics speaks not just to ancient Greeks but to all those who already love the fine, aiming to help them improve their self-understanding and encouraging them to become better human beings. As a consequence, Aristotelian ethics remain viable today. It will be of interest to students of virtue ethics and the history of philosophy.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Explores the Greek philosopher’s view of the relationship between ethics and happiness.”—The Chronicle of Higher Education
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780268034023
  • Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2006
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Anna Lännström is assistant professor of philosophy at Stonehill College.
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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Being and becoming good 9
Ch. 2 The Kantian challenge 27
Ch. 3 The unethical theoretician 49
Ch. 4 The argument of the Ethics : discerning and reaching the highest end 71
Ch. 5 Answering those who do not love the fine 97
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