This Friday, February 17, the University of Arizona Department of Philosophy Colloquium Series presents Sukaina Hirji (Virginia Tech). The title of Professor Hirji's talk is "Virtuous Actions, Acting Virtuously, And Eudaimonia." (Abstract below.)
Friday, Feb 17, 2017, 3-5pm, Maloney Seminar Room, Social Sciences 224.
Virtuous Actions, Acting Virtuously, And Eudaimonia"
Consider a familiar puzzle about the nature of virtuous actions. Sometimes, in the Nicomachean Ethics, Artistotle appears to describe virtuous actions as the sorts of actions that are ends; this is important if Aristotle wants to maintain, as he seems to at least until Book 10, that virtuous actions are a constituent of eudaimonia. At other times, he seems to be committed to the claim that virtuous actions are the sorts of actions that are for the sake of ends beyond themselves; after all, no one would choose to go into battle or give away a significant portion of their wealth if it did not achieve some good result. Whether Aristotle is in fact inconsistent on this point is no trivial matter. Understanding how, for Aristotle, virtuous actions are supposed to be related to their ends bears on the central question of the NE, the nature of human happiness. In this paper, I review the familiar problem raised by Aristotle's discussion of the nature of virtuous actions, propose a solution that appeals to a distinction between virtuous actions and what I call "acting virtuously," and sketch the significance of this solution for understanding the relationship between virtue and human happiness.