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Constructing a Good Life

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image of Journal of Moral Philosophy

In The Value of Living Well, Mark LeBar develops a position that he calls “virtue eudaimonism” (VE). VE is both a eudaimonistic theory of practical reasoning and a constructivist account of the metaphysics of value. In this essay, I will explain the core of LeBar’s view and focus on two issues, one concerning VE’s eudaimonism and the other concerning VE’s constructivism. I will argue that, as it stands, VE does not adequately address the charge of egoism, once that charge has been formulated in the strongest way. I will also argue that a substantive constructivism like VE must have considerably less explanatory power than any (successful) constructivism that appeals to a formal characterization of agency. Although my remarks are largely critical, I offer them in a spirit of sympathetic engagement with LeBar’s impressive book.

Affiliations: 1: Boston College


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