Sukaina Hirji is a PhD Candidate in the Philosophy Department at Princeton University. This Fall, she will begin a position as an Assistant Professor in the Philosophy Department at Virginia Tech. She works primarily in ancient philosophy and, in particular, on Aristotle. In addition to working on the history of philosophy in its own right, […]
Aristotle on Virtue and Happiness
One of the enduring attractions of Aristotle’s ethical theory is its supposed ability to explain why it’s always in an agent’s own interests to be ethically good. According to Aristotle, having a virtuous character and performing virtuous actions is necessary, and very nearly sufficient, for living a happy life. However, I believe the way Aristotle conceives of the relationship between virtue and happiness, or eudaimonia, has been badly misunderstood. In my current research, I reconsider how Aristotle understands the relationship between being good and being happy, and suggest why his ethical theory deserves renewed philosophical attention in its own right.