The Big Risk Behind the Explosion of Virtues

In E. Grimi (ed.), Virtue Ethics. Retrospect and Prospect. pp. 165-175 (2019)

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Abstract
We have recently witnessed an explosion in the theme of virtues. It is not by chance that in most parts of the world research centers, projects, associations, and foundations on virtues have been founded. But what is behind this phenomenon? The recovery of virtue ethics was initiated by Elizabeth Anscombe, re-launched by Alasdair MacIntyre, and has now been developed by many authors in a contemporary context. Virtue ethics has now become its own distinct subject matter, according to some it is named appropriately, and according to others not. Speaking of virtue is thus a reflection of the historical period we are going through: to be virtuous is “cool”, a part of one’s identity and character. In this light, being virtuous founds its refection in narcissism. Paradoxically becoming virtuous does not involve a progress toward human flourishing, but rather it becomes about fulfilling a realisation which is already in place in the person without any effort, sacrifice, or work. Perhaps a philosophy of humility can recover a horizon of action in which humanity tends towards its flourishing, and thus to a recovery of virtue that must increasingly be as silent as exercised?
Keywords Virtue Ethics, Humility, Beatitudo, Theory of Action, Human Flourishing
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