The Journal of Value Inquiry

, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 453–477 | Cite as

Nietzsche, Proficiency, and the (New) Spirit of Capitalism

  • Bernard Reginster

Virtue ethics is often framed by two basic thoughts. First, there is the thought that what is good for human beings to do should also, in some sense, be good for them. Human beings ought to act virtuously because it benefits them in some important way—for example, because it is constitutive of their happiness. Second, there is the thought that what is good for human beings should accord with human nature. Any acceptable account of the human good should not represent as good a way of life that requires human beings to deny or fundamentally alter their generic natural constitution—for example, to suppress their natural desires or capacities. Otherwise, it would arguably not be a conception of the good life for human beings; it would not concern them,so to speak, but rather describe the good life for beings with an essentially different constitution. Thus, virtues are typically rooted in dispositions or capacities that are “natural” to human beings, and their exercise amounts to the...


Profit Motive Protestant Ethic Capitalist Entrepreneurship Capitalist Enterprise True Uncertainty 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA

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