Virtue and Vice

Peter J. E. Kail

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy in Early Modern Europe

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199556137
Published online May 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

Virtue and Vice

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  • History of Western Philosophy
  • Moral Philosophy


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This article analyses the conception of virtue and vice in early modern Europe. It explains that there were two movements in conceptions of virtue during this period. The first is the Cartesian tradition wherein virtue is intimately related to the control of the passions and the other is the continuation of this theme in Britain in a more aesthetic version. This article describes how the concepts of virtue and vice were softened by an awakening interest in the social emotions and in the relationship between moral goodness and happiness.

Keywords: virtue; vice; Europe; Cartesian tradition; social emotions; moral goodness; happiness

Article.  8464 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy ; Moral Philosophy

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