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DC-Area Lectures Ken is Looking Forward To

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February 17, 2005



"To be virtuous, then, is to be happy."
That's the Stoics, not Aristotle, who insists that happiness (eudaimonia) also requires external goods or "the goods of fortune." You can't be eudaimon, in Aristotle's view, without e.g. friends and good health. So, towards the end of NICOMACHEAN ETHICS I Ch.8 (Ross trans.), "[Eudaimonia] needs the external goods as well; for it is impossible, or not easy, to do noble acts without the proper equipment. ... there are some things the lack of which takes the lustre from happiness, as good birth, goodly children, beauty; for the man who is very ugly in appearance or ill-born or solitary and childless is not very likely to be happy, and perhaps a man would be still less likely if he had thoroughly bad children or friends or had lost good children or friends by death." Virtue is not enough -- ask Job.

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If you wish to be the best man, you must suffer the bitterest of the bitter.

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