Self-Interest and Virtue*: NEERA K. BADHWAR

Social Philosophy and Policy 14 (1):226-263 (1997)
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The Aristotelian view that the moral virtues–the virtues of character informed by practical wisdom–are essential to an individual's happiness, and are thus in an individual's self-interest, has been little discussed outside of purely scholarly contexts. With a few exceptions, contemporary philosophers have tended to be suspicious of Aristotle's claims about human nature and the nature of rationality and happiness. But recent scholarship has offered an interpretation of the basic elements of Aristotle's views of human nature and happiness, and of reason and virtue, that brings them more into line with common-sense thinking and with contemporary philosophical and empirical psychology. This makes it fruitful to reexamine the question of the role of virtue in self-interest.

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Neera K. Badhwar
University of Oklahoma


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