Can anyone point me to good contemporary articles that discuss the relationship between virtue and well-being?

  • 1
    What have you found so far?
    – Joseph Weissman
    May 23, 2013 at 2:13
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    Unfortunately nothing that is contemporary. Yet virtue would seem to have such an obvious place in objective theories of well-being I'm surprised. May 23, 2013 at 2:17
  • One of the primary concepts of virtue ethics is eudaimonia (often translated as happiness but sometimes translated as well-being) therefore most discussions of virtue ethics explicitly deal with well being. For example, the first entry in the recent Cambridge Companion to Virtue Ethics is "Virtue ethics, happiness, and the good life". Similarly, a variety of contemporary authors discuss these issues, e.g. Julia Annas. Is there a specific type of relationship or aspects of the relationship which interest you?
    – user4097
    Jul 21, 2013 at 5:14

1 Answer 1


These aren't articles but books:

You may be interested in, the Irish-British philosopher Iris Murdoch book, on the sovereignty of the good - by her own admission she was influenced by Plato & Simone Weil - particularly Weils notion of attention.

Amartya Sen, the economist & philosopher pioneered a new direction to virtue ethics in economics & government to wider ideas of well-being/flourishing, called the capabilities approach, tying it to notions of human dignity & flourishing rather than narrow measures of economic and material benefit.

This has been further developed by Martha Nussbaum, the American philosopher, who also has written extensively on virtue ethics, the roots in Aristotle, contrasting Platos conception of the Good against the image of this by the tragedians/Aristotle in her book the fragility of goodness. She applies the approach pioneered by Sen to notions of global justice in Women & Global Development.

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