Virtue and the Constitution

John Finnis

in Human Rights and Common Good

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199580071
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729393 | DOI:
Virtue and the Constitution

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Civic virtue is inadequately understood as tradition-bound; properly it is true moral virtue as it bears in various ways on one's participation in community extending beyond the family: for example, impartial and zealous dutifulness of doctors or firemen, probity of lawyers, honesty of scholars, fidelity of trustees, etc. It includes respect for and appreciation of persons, however diverse, even though diversity is a tragedy and cross for a community inasmuch as diversity about fundamental questions blocks the community's participation in good ways of living and its ability to reform. Governmental encouragement to virtue is permissible but subsidiary; primary responsibility for inculcating civic virtue rests with families, schools, and other institutions of civil society.

Keywords: civic virtue; diversity; subsidiarity; fidelity; dutifulness

Chapter.  4007 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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