Assess the view that self interest can only be realised in the context of a virtuous life.

Philosophers who argue that morality is constitutive to self interest are taking a stronger position than most contractarians because they are claiming morality is not simply sufficient for self interest, but it is jointly necessary and sufficient. In other words, the conditions under which I act in my own interest are exactly the same as the conditions under which I am moral.

Plato argues that the telos of a person is to reach a state of eudiamonia; flourishing or fulfilment. He suggests living a virtuous life is the necessary condition for reaching eudiamonia and this means that being a virtuous person is not just instrumental of your self interest but it is constitutive of it. Plato’s virtues include; wisdom of your intellect; courage of spirit or ‘thumos’; and discipline of appetite. Continue reading

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