Irreplaceable Virtue

Adam Morton

in Bounded Thinking

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199658534
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191746192 | DOI:
Irreplaceable Virtue

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A virtue is a special kind of capacity to get things done, one that is sensitive to the situation in which it is employed, the state of the agent, and the changes at which it aims. These three are usually inseparable This inseparability is essential to the use of virtue as a normative category, and is a central reason why we need this category of evaluation. The chapter discusses intellectual virtues under three requirements. They are learnable; they are topics of evaluation, and they are sensitivities to features of a person’s environment and her capacities to manage information derived from it. The chapter pays attention to what is called in this chapter ‘paradoxical virtues’, virtues whose simple descriptions make them sound like vices. The chapter thinks these are particularly prevalent among virtues of limitation-management. Throughout the chapter emphasizes the multiple-realizability of virtues, and connect this both with their resistance to situationist challenges and their irreplaceability for normative purposes.

Keywords: virtue; intellectual virtue; epistemic virtue; paradoxical virtue

Chapter.  12789 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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