Aristotle and Reason

  • Nafsika Athanassoulis

Abstract

We have seen so far that luck is allowed to play a role in Aristotelian theory. So, for Aristotle, luck is part of the moral life, but it remains to be seen how big a part luck plays in the moral life. One possibility is that luck is all there is to morality and morality is simply a collection of lucky instances. Following Nussbaum,1 I shall call this the ‘luck view’. However, Aristotle wants to resist this possibility. As Nussbaum puts it:

The luck view is rejected not because it has been found to be at odds with scientific fact about the way things are in the universe, discovered by some value-neutral procedure, but because it strikes a false note, i.e. is too much at odds with our other beliefs, and specifically with our evaluative beliefs about what sort of life would be worth living. For we believe that human life is worth the living only if a good life can be secured by effort, and if the relevant sort of effort lies within the capabilities of most people.2

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© Nafsika Athanassoulis 2005

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  • Nafsika Athanassoulis

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