The Importance of Roles in the Skill Analogy

Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 17 (1):75-102 (2020)
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Abstract

This paper argues for a reinterpretation of the skill analogy in virtue ethics. It argues that the skill analogy should not be understood as proposing that being virtuous is analogous to possessing a practical skill but, rather, as proposing that being virtuous is analogous to being a good occupant of a skill-involving role. The paper argues for this by engaging with various standard objections to the analogy, two recent defences of it, and Aristotle’s treatment of it in developing his account of virtue in the Nicomachean Ethics. It aims to show that neither virtue nor the skill analogy is correctly understood without recourse to the notion of a role and that once we have recourse to that notion, many objections to the analogy are met.

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Matt Dougherty
University of Vienna

Citations of this work

Is Epistemic Competence a Skill?David Horst - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (3):509-523.
Gilbert Ryle and the Ethical Impetus for Know-How.Matt Dougherty - 2020 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 8 (1):01-21.
Practical Structure and Moral Skill.Joshua Shepherd - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (3):713-732.

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References found in this work

Two Faces of Responsibility.Gary Watson - 1996 - Philosophical Topics 24 (2):227-248.
Modern Moral Philosophy.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1958 - In Thomas L. Carson & Paul K. Moser (eds.), Morality and the Good Life. Oup Usa.
Virtue epistemology.Heather Battaly - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (4):639-663.
Modern Moral Philosophy.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1997 - In Roger Crisp & Michael Slote (eds.), Virtue Ethics. Oxford University Press.
Role obligations.Michael Hardimon - 1994 - Journal of Philosophy 91 (7):333-363.

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