The Role of Chance in Man's Happiness According to Julia Annas's View

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Doctorate student of Philosophy of Religion, Ᾱzād Islamic University - Tehran science and research section

2 Professor, Department of Philosophy and Theology, University of Qom (corresponding author)


Introducing chance into the domain of Ethics means that there are factors outside a person's control that intervene and have an effect in his happiness. Since Aristotle stipulates the attainment of happiness to be in possessing virtues and enjoyment of external desires and also considers «human beings natural happiness» to be an ethical issue, it seems that he has admitted a type of internal and environmental chance into man's happiness; but despite this, he does not consider chance to be effective in evaluating a person's responsibility and moral status. Therefore, Julia Annas – a contemporary Neo Aristotelian philosopher – considers Aristotle to have committed the paradoxical phenomenon of «environmental and internal moral chance». In this article, while examining how chance was introduced to the domain of Ethics by Aristotle, we will go into a review of Julia Annas's view in this regard. By choosing an unsteady approach, Annas ultimately concludes that considering all the studies that have been done throughout history, one cannot reach a certainty among the views of the Stoics and Aristotle in regards to this topic and therefore, by not ignoring the view of the Stoics based on the fact that «man's happiness is generally free of chance», she does not disregard man's responsibility and moral status and therefore, she concludes he is not affected by moral chance.


Main Subjects

-  Annas, J. (1993). the Morality of Happiness, New York . Oxford.
-  Annas, J. (2011). Intelligent Virtue, New York. Oxford
-  Athanassoulis, N. (2005). Moral Luck and Responsibility. Fortune’s Web, Palgrave Macmillan.
-  Franklin. S. (2010). The Psychology of happiness a good human life, Cambridge University.
-  Nagel, T. (1979). Mortal Questions. New York .Oxford University Press.
-  Wolf, S. (2013). "The Moral of Moral Luck" Philosophic Exchange: (31) 1, Article 1.
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