Rare not to see someone trying to gain the favour of important people and even that slight nod or recognition gives us the right to claim their friendships too. But check out the person who is poor – their relatives have no use for them, they have no friends and no matter how hard they try, they can’t seem to win.
Developing this view, Thomas Hurka recounts for us Aristotle’s megalopsychos or proud person. This megalopsychos holds all the virtues and is completely good, and so it is appropriate that he should feel the pleasure that comes with these states (Hurka 2001, p. 139). Hurka feels, however, that the type of pleasure the megalopsychos enjoys is objectionable. Hurka claims that the megalopsychos is competitive, and cares a great deal about being more virtuous than other people (Hurka 2001, p. 140). When done a favour, he does a greater favour in return, and likes to have people in his debt (Hurka 2001, p. 140). A sort of inverse Scrooge, he likes to confer benefits, but sees receiving them as a mark of inferiority (Hurka 2001, p. 140). The megalopsychos is extremely competitive — competitive to the point of possibly being jealous of others’ virtue (Hurka 3 2001, p. 14). This excess of concern about one’s moral virtue is in turn a vice (Hurka 2001, p. 140)