summaryrefslogtreecommitdiffhomepage
path: root/philos/research.mdwn
blob: dcdfa56b0f6304d3a31f55c4da875927b1333630 (plain)
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
In my research I aim to develop and defend a eudaimonist virtue ethics, both
against other approaches in normative ethics, and against non-eudaimonist
forms of virtue ethics.  Eudaimonism is characterised by the ideas that only
living virtuously is unconditionally good, that other things are good only
relative to living virtuously, and that it is a mistake to sharply distinguish
living well, living ethically and living happily.  Non-eudaimonist virtue
ethics are those which reject one or more of these ideas but still give virtue
theoretical centrality, such as consequentialist virtue ethics.

# Articles

## In Defense of a Narrow Drawing of the Boundaries of the Self

[[Download PDF|embodied_aam.pdf]] (154K) <br /><small>This is a
post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in the
<i>Journal of Value Inquiry</i>.  <br /> The final authenticated version is
available online at: http://dx.doi.org/[TBD].</small>

Abstract:

> In his monograph *Happiness for Humans*, Daniel C. Russell argues that
> someone's happiness is constituted by her virtuous engagement in a certain
> special sort of activity, which he calls *embodied activity*.  An embodied
> activity is one which depends for its identity on things which lie outside
> of the agent's control.  What this means is that whether or not it is
> possible for the activity to continue is not completely up to the agent.  A
> motivating example is my activity of living alongside my spouse.  Whether or
> not it is possible for this activity to continue is not entirely within my
> control, because my spouse might die, or otherwise become unavailable to me.
> To defend the view that it's embodied activities which are constitutive of
> happiness, Russell defends what he calls the *embodied conception* of the
> self.  This is the view that the boundaries of the self whose happiness is
> at stake include all the constitutive parts of our embodied activities.
>
> In response, I provide two arguments.  Firstly, I show that while Russell
> makes a good case for the relevance of embodied *activities* to happiness,
> he doesn't establish that we must adopt the embodied conception of the
> *self* in order to obtain those insights.  Secondly, I argue that to draw
> the boundaries of the self in accordance with the embodied conception
> involves forming beliefs in a way that is not epistemically responsible.  In
> making this argument I rely on the claim that there is a strong, particular
> sense in which other people are unknowable to us, a claim which is developed
> in the fiction of Haruki Murakami.