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Aristotle and the Virtues$
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Howard J. Curzer

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199693726

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693726.001.0001

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Happiness and Luck (NE I and X.6–8)

Happiness and Luck (NE I and X.6–8)

Chapter:
(p.388) 18 Happiness and Luck (NE I and X.6–8)
Source:
Aristotle and the Virtues
Author(s):

Howard J. Curzer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693726.003.0018

An enormous amount has been written about Aristotle’s account of happiness, almost all of it focused on the question of whether the supremely happy life of X.6–8 is a contemplative life or a contemplative/ethical blend. Each interpretation faces serious problems. This chapter goes between the horns by taking Aristotle to be advocating a life of thoughtful, morally virtuous activity. Since the activity of reflection is what makes the agent happy, this life is rightly called contemplative. But since reflection can be performed along with almost all morally virtuous activity, contemplators need not strive to minimize their morally virtuous activity in order to maximize their contemplation.

Keywords:   happiness, eudaimonia, luck, goods of fortune, self-sufficient, final, complete, contemplation, mixed life, supremely happy life

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