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Dean of the College presents

Faculty Seminar

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Pursuit of Unhappiness

Presented by Jay Elliott

In recent years, many philosophers have taken a renewed interest in ancient Greek thought about happiness, according to which we should think of happiness not as a momentary state of bliss or contentment, but as overall success in a well-lived life. Most contemporary writers have been especially sympathetic to Aristotle’s view of happiness, which holds that a happy person needs both moral virtue and good fortune. But some recent philosophers, drawing on a line of criticism that goes back to the Stoics, argue that Aristotle’s attempt to combine a prominent role for both virtue and luck in happiness makes his position fundamentally incoherent. In “The Pursuit of Unhappiness,” I approach the question of whether Aristotle’s view can be given a coherent interpretation by focusing on the vexed issue of whether, according to Aristotle, a virtuous person could ever become unhappy, and if not, why not.

Please join us at 6:30 p.m. for a reception prior to the event in the Olin Atrium.  

For more information, call 845-758-7490, or e-mail jcerulli@bard.edu.

Time: 7:00 pm

Location: Olin, Room 102