Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Prichard's Heresy

  • Sandy Berkovski (a1)

H. A. Prichard ascribed to Aristotle a form of closeted hedonism. Aristotle allegedly misunderstood his own task: while his avowed goal in Nicomachean Ethics is to give an account of the nature of happiness, his real goal must be to offer an account of the factors most efficiently generating happiness. The reason is that the nature of happiness is enjoyment, and this fact is supposed to have been recognised by Aristotle and his audience. While later writers judged Prichard's view obviously mistaken, I argue that the issue is more complex. In the process of reconstructing the logical skeleton of Prichard's argument I show that Aristotle may have had to endorse the identification of the subject's good with that subject's psychological satisfaction. But I also argue that, while making prior assumptions about the meaning of ‘eudaimonia’, Aristotle made no such assumptions about the nature of eudaimonia.

Corresponding author
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

H.A. Prichard , Moral Writings (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002)

J.L. Austin , ‘Agathon and eudaimonia in the Ethics of Aristotle’, in Philosophical Papers (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979)

R. Kraut , ‘How to Justify Ehical Propositions: Aristotle's Method’, in The Blackwell Guide to Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics (Blackwell, 2006)

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

  • ISSN: 0031-8191
  • EISSN: 1469-817X
  • URL: /core/journals/philosophy
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 3
Total number of PDF views: 9 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 86 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 23rd September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.