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date: 15 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The concept of eudaimonia plays a crucial role in understanding virtue on some quite influential virtue ethical theories. It can be understood as happiness, as a property of lives. It is on many influential accounts the focus of virtue and the standard for excellence in living and acting. This chapter grapples with some essential questions in fleshing out this relation: What, beyond merely not dying, does living consist in? What counts as living well? How does eudaimonia give point or focus to virtue? Who is living a good life good for? Can eudaimonism get us beyond an unacceptable egoism? Among the major concerns addressed is that eudaimonia really points more to moral perfection than to happiness. The chapter concludes by taking up a number of objections to allowing the role for eudaimonia that it has traditionally played in virtue ethical theories.

Keywords: virtue, happiness, eudaimonia, welfare, perfectionism, egoism

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