The Habituation of Character

Nancy Sherman

in The Fabric of Character

Published in print March 1991 | ISBN: 9780198239178
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598395 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

 The Habituation of Character

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According to traditional interpretations, the habituation of character is a mechanical process that chronologically precedes more reflective and cognitive moral development. I challenge this view, arguing that habituation is primarily a form of critical practice dependent on cognitive capacities of choice, perception, and deliberation. We are not children and then, at once, at the age of majority, reflective adults. Rather, as children we are gradually and incrementally, in the process of becoming reflective adults. A developmental account of this sort is requisite if we are to understand Aristotle's claim that the person of good character is at once the person of practical wisdom.

Keywords: Aristotle; emotions; habituation; practical reason; practical wisdom; virtue

Chapter.  16214 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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