Volume 3, 2011
Virtue, Ethics, and Neurosis
Aristotle’s account of virtue is criticized through John Russon’s existential phenomenology of the human being. For Russon, neurosis is a characteristic of human being, whereas Aristotle would say that neurotic tensions do not arise in genuinely good people. The essay argues that an Aristotelian attitude engenders a particularly destructive form of neurosis by not recognizing the inherently dynamic nature of human identity. The essay seeks to build a theory of virtue that resists the idea of human fulfillment as ending in a final state of well-being and contentment.