Skill, Practical Wisdom, and Ethical Naturalism

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (5):983-993 (2015)
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IntroductionRecent work in virtue theory has breathed new life into the analogy between virtue and skill.See, for example, Annas ; Bloomfield ; Stichter ; Swartwood . There is good reason to think that this analogy is worth pursuing since it may help us understand the distinctive nexus of reasoning, knowledge, and practical ability that is found in virtue by pointing to a similar nexus found outside moral contexts in skill. In some ways, there is more than an analogy between skill and virtue. Clearly, both are what might be called ‘practical states,’ that is, conditions of agents with regard to action. For some virtue theorists, the analogy is superseded in favor of a claim to identity. As Paul Bloomfield puts it:… adopting the thesis that virtues are skills hands us a viable moral epistemology by reducing the problem of moral epistemology to the analysis of the epistemology of diagnosis and problem solving employed by doctors, navigators, and ..



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John Hacker-Wright
University of Guelph

References found in this work

Intelligent Virtue.Julia Annas - 2011 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Virtues and Vices.Philippa Foot - 1983 - Noûs 17 (1):117-121.
Needs, Values, Truth.David Wiggins - 1987 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 180 (1):106-106.

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