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Virtue and HappinessEssays in Honour of Julia Annas$
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Rachana Kamtekar

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199646043

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199646043.001.0001

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PSYCHOLOGICAL EUDAIMONISM AND INTERPRETATION IN GREEK ETHICS

PSYCHOLOGICAL EUDAIMONISM AND INTERPRETATION IN GREEK ETHICS

Chapter:
(p.287) PSYCHOLOGICAL EUDAIMONISM AND INTERPRETATION IN GREEK ETHICS
Source:
Virtue and Happiness
Author(s):

MARK LEBAR

NATHANIEL GOLDBERG

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199646043.003.0015

Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics can each be understood as claiming that all human beings desire to live well, and that this desire, when accompanied by correct beliefs about the role of virtue in living well, moves people to be virtuous. Call this claim ‘psychological eudaimonism’ (‘PE’). Neither Plato, Aristotle, nor the Stoics, however, investigate PE's warrant. After identifying the claim in these ancients' writings, this paper argues in their stead that PE is warranted by what is involved in understanding others as rational generally, and what is involved in understanding ourselves as practically rational specifically. The former is interestingly and unexpectedly informed by Donald Davidson’s account of linguistic interpretation. The latter is the ancients’ account of practical rationality itself.

Keywords:   Aristotle, Davidson, Donald, eudaimonism; Plato, practical rationality, psychological eudaimonism, radical interpretation, Stoics

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