Aristotle says that the virtues are necessary for humans to attain happiness, but he means this in terms of something we might call “flourishing” or “living well”, which he considers quite different than simply feeling good. Thus, according to Aristotle some people might feel that they are happy, but because they lack the virtues they are not truly flourishing. However, imagine someone that is deceitful, selfish, greedy, self-indulgent, and yet enjoys great pleasure and appears to be quite happy. Is someone like this “flourishing” or not? Explain your answer this by referring to this week’s readings and media, and if possible provide examples from real life and/or from literature, film, TV, etc.
Aristotle. (1931). Nicomachean ethics (W. D. Ross, Trans.).
Nussbaum, M. (n.d.). Virtue ethics
Wingclips. (n.d.). The bridge on the river Kwai
Wingclips. (n.d.). The emperor’s club
Hill, T. (1983). Ideals of human excellence and preserving natural environments. Journal of Environmental Ethics, 5(3), 211-24.
Robinson, P. (2007). Magnanimity and integrity as military virtues. Journal of Military Ethics, 6(4), 259-269