Motor Skill and Moral Virtue

Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 80:139-170 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Virtue ethicists often appeal to practical skill as a way of understanding the nature of virtue. An important commitment of a skill account of virtue is that virtue is learned through practice and not through study, memorization, or reflection alone. In what follows, I will argue that virtue ethicists have only given us half the story. In particular, in focusing on outputs, or on the right actions or responses to moral situations, virtue ethicists have overlooked a crucial facet of virtue: namely, that through practice, virtuous agents develop a cache of perceptual skills that allow them to attend to, detect, and identify the relevant features of a perceptual array, the selection of which is central to recognizing and categorizing a situation as a moral situation of a particular type. In order to support this claim, I will appeal to empirical studies of motor expertise, which show that an expert's capacity to attend to and recognize relevant perceptual inputs differs in important respects from the layperson's. Specifically, I will argue that performing the right action in the right circumstances improves an agent's ability to attend to and identify the morally relevant features of a moral situation.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 93,098

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Virtues, Skills, and Right Action.Matt Stichter - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (1):73-86.
Seeing by Feeling: Virtues, Skills, and Moral Perception.Daniel Jacobson - 2005 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 8 (4):387-409.
Toward an Ontology of Virtue Ethics.Mary Ella Savarino - 1993 - Journal of Philosophical Research 18:243-259.
Toward an Ontology of Virtue Ethics.Mary Ella Savarino - 1993 - Journal of Philosophical Research 18:243-259.
Virtue and Embodied Skill: Refining the Virtue-Skill Analogy.Denise Vigani - 2021 - Journal of Value Inquiry 55 (2):251-268.
Virtue Ethics and Right Action.Diana Courtney Fleming - 2003 - Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley
Virtue Habituation and the Skill of Emotion Regulation.Paul E. Carron - 2021 - In Tom P. S. Angier & Lisa Ann Raphals (eds.), Skill in Ancient Ethics: The Legacy of China, Greece and Rome. New York: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. pp. 115-140.
Virtuous actions in the Mengzi.Waldemar Brys - 2023 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 31 (1):2-22.
Accidental rightness.Liezl van Zyl - 2009 - Philosophia 37 (1):91-104.

Analytics

Added to PP
2017-05-18

Downloads
68 (#245,994)

6 months
13 (#219,908)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Ellen Fridland
King's College London

Citations of this work

Flexible occurrent control.Denis Buehler - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (8):2119-2137.
Intention at the Interface.Ellen Fridland - 2019 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (3):481-505.
Virtue, Rule-Following, and Absolute Prohibitions.Jeremy Reid - 2019 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 5 (1):78-97.
Skill and expertise in perception.Susanna Siegel - 2020 - In Ellen Fridland & Carlotta Pavese (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Skill and Expertise. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 306-313.
Practical Structure and Moral Skill.Joshua Shepherd - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (3):713-732.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Virtue and Reason.John Mcdowell - 1979 - The Monist 62 (3):331-350.
Explaining Behaviour: Reasons in a World of Causes.Andy Clark - 1990 - Philosophical Quarterly 40 (158):95-102.
Virtue and Reason.John McDowell - 1997 - In Roger Crisp & Michael Slote (eds.), Virtue Ethics. Oxford University Press.
The Sovereignty of Good.Iris Murdoch - 1971 - Philosophy 47 (180):178-180.

View all 14 references / Add more references