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Grant number like: FA-50240-04

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Gabriela R. Carone
Regents of the University of Colorado, Boulder (Boulder, CO 80309-0001)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2004 – 12/31/2004

Creating Happiness: Luck, Pleasure, and the Excellent Life in Plato's Laws

I intend to offer a new analysis of Plato's moral theory as presented in his last work, the Laws. I propose to focus on the complex relation of happiness to luck, pleasure and virtue therein, and the thesis that virtue is sufficient for happiness. I wish to argue that the Laws contains a most powerful and logically valid version of this thesis which can meet the most pressing objections to it that have been raised in the scholarly literature and makes the Laws central for an understanding of Plato's ethics and its possible contribution to contemporary discussions of virtue ethics and moral luck. In particular, I wish to show, in defiance of contemporary literature on the supposed fragility of human goodness, how the Laws views virtue partly as the capacity to deal with luck in an artful way, and can thus be seen as a call for activism rather than passive resignation about the circumstances we encounter.