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The Pleasure Thesis in the Eudemian Ethics

Bonasio, G. (2022) 'The Pleasure Thesis in the Eudemian Ethics.', Journal of the History of Philosophy, 60 (4). pp. 521-536.


This paper argues that in the Eudemian Ethics (EE), Aristotle aims to prove the Pleasure Thesis (PT). According to the Pleasure Thesis, happiness is the most pleasant thing of all. Through a reconstruction of the argument in favor of PT, this paper shows that happiness is most pleasant for three reasons: (1) it is pleasant by definition; (2) it is constituted by the most pleasant activities (virtuous actions and contemplation); (3) it is pleasant by nature. A reconstruction of the argument in favor of PT is philosophically interesting not only in order to better understand the argument in the EE—and in particular the debated status and role of NE VII/EE VI.11–14—but also insofar as it sheds light on the relation between the pleasant and the good.

Item Type:Article
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Date accepted:25 May 2021
Date deposited:11 October 2022
Date of first online publication:07 October 2022
Date first made open access:11 October 2022

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