Philosophia 34 (4):417-435 (2006)

I first sketch an account of humility as a character trait in which we are unimpressed with our good, envied, or admired features, achievements, etc., where these lack significant salience for our image of ourselves, because of the greater prominence of our limitations and flaws. I situate this view among several other recent conceptions of humility (also called modesty), dividing them between the inward-directed and outward-directed, distinguish mine from them, pose problems for each alternative account, and show how my understanding of humility captures truths present but exaggerated in several of them. Responding to some problems for my view, including what I call “Driver’s Paradox”(i.e., the strangeness of someone’s proclaiming ‘I’m humble!’), I suggest that some over-ambitious claims about our moral responsibilities may indicate a lack of proper humility. I discuss the relationship of the character trait of humility both to what humiliates and to what humbles, concluding with consideration of the background assumptions against which, and the circumstances in which, humility may reasonably be classified as a moral virtue.
Keywords humility  modesty  underestimation  humiliation  humbling  virtues  Driver, Julia  Flanagan, Owen  Roberts, Robert  Taylor, Gabriele  Snow, Nancy
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-006-9032-x
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References found in this work BETA

Modern Moral Philosophy.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1958 - Philosophy 33 (124):1 - 19.
Modern Moral Philosophy.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1997 - In Roger Crisp & Michael Slote (eds.), Virtue Ethics. Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Intellectual Humility: Owning Our Limitations.Dennis Whitcomb, Heather Battaly, Jason Baehr & Daniel Howard-Snyder - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (3):509-539.
Intellectual Humility as Attitude.Alessandra Tanesini - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 96 (2):399-420.
Intellectual Humility and the Curse of Knowledge.Michael Hannon - 2021 - In Michael Lynch & Alessandra Tanesini (eds.), Arrogance and Polarisation. Routledge.
Modesty and Humility.Nicolas Bommarito - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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