Ambition, love, and happiness

Pettigrove, G. (2020) Ambition, love, and happiness. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 120(1), pp. 21-45. (doi: 10.1093/arisoc/aoaa002)

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What is the relationship between ambition and love? While discussions of happiness often mention romances, friendships, aspirations, and achievements, the relationship between these features is seldom discussed. This paper aims to fill that gap. It begins with a suggestive remark made by La Rochefoucauld and repeated by Adam Smith: ‘Love often leads on to ambition, but seldom does one return from ambition to love.’ To explain what accounts for such a pattern, I introduce a distinction between stage-setting emotions and master emotions, which is useful for illuminating relationships between a number of emotions, including ambition and love. Drawing on things Smith says elsewhere in the Theory of Moral Sentiments, I conclude by highlighting one way the pattern might be reversed and ambition might lead to love.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Pettigrove, Professor Glen
Authors: Pettigrove, G.
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Journal Name:Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN (Online):1467-9264
Published Online:27 April 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Aristotelian Society
First Published:First published in Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 120(1):21-45
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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