On the Practicality of Virtue Ethics

Journal of Value Inquiry:1-24 (forthcoming)
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Using research in social psychology, philosophers such as Gilbert Harman and John Doris argue that human beings do not have – and cannot acquire – character traits such as virtues. Along with defenders of virtue ethics such as Julia Annas and Rachana Kamtekar, they assume that this constitutes a dangerous attack on virtue ethics. I argue that even if virtues and vices did not exist and everyone accepted that truth, (1) we would continue to make attributions of character traits in our ordinary practices and institutions and (2) it would still be useful to strategically harness – rather than suppress or ignore – our virtue (and vice) attributions.



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Daniel Coren
Skidmore College

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Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - Proceedings of the British Academy 48:187-211.
1. Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - In John Martin Fischer & Mark Ravizza (eds.), Perspectives on Moral Responsibility. Cornell University Press. pp. 1-25.
Responsibility and the Moral Sentiments.R. Jay Wallace - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (3):680-681.
Ethics with Aristotle.Sarah Broadie - 1991 - New York, US: Oxford University Press.

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