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Abstract

The eudaimonistic thesis claims that being virtuous is a necessary aspect of the development of some important kind of happiness. To be true, it must be the case that virtue is associated with a kind of happiness that is clearly recognizable as something that we want, that we can appreciate as a good state for us to be in, that we can identify as a state of our own well-being. So here is the empirical question: in our ordinary experiences, is it the case that virtue is necessary to developing this kind of state? This is a very large, and very important, question. In this paper, I chip away at one piece of this question by exploring virtue’s role in mediating our relationships with others. Caring about others and treating them well is clearly part of being virtuous (no matter how we construe the virtues) and I think it is also one aspect of being virtuous that we can see to be an important part of our happiness—at least, in our non-skeptical moments.

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