The Right Desire?
virtue ethics, desire, Aristotle, practical wisdom, habit
Aristotle suggests we follow the practically wise person’s lead as we strive to become morally good. And this advice is not offered as some abstract theoretical principle about the nature of the good life. Instead, it is supposed to be practical advice we can all use to become better people. But is this good advice? For Aristotle’s practical advice to be useful, we need to know more about the conceptual framework he has in mind when offering this advice. Considering Aristotle’s notion of correct desire, the distinction between natural and fully developed virtue, and reflecting on how these concepts connect to the doctrine of the mean and habit helps fill in some of the gaps. Once we understood these ideas in connection with one another, we are in a position to appreciate Aristotle’s profound advice about a crucial aspect of moral education.
Desire and Human Flourishing: Perspectives from Positive Psychology, Moral Education and Virtue Ethics
Michael Winter. "The Right Desire?" In Desire and Human Flourishing: Perspectives from Positive Psychology, Moral Education and Virtue Ethics, 201-212, 2020.