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Burdened VirtuesVirtue Ethics for Liberatory Struggles$
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Lisa Tessman

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195179149

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195179145.001.0001

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Eudaimonistic Virtue Ethics under Adversity

(p.159) Conclusion
Burdened Virtues

Lisa Tessman (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The conclusion addresses a question that emerges given all of the critical revisions to a eudaimonistic virtue ethics that are suggested in the course of the book, and especially given the proposed addition of an odd category of virtues—burdened virtues—that lack the usual feature of virtues because they are exercised in contexts in which flourishing tends to be diminished or unattainable. The conclusion considers how one could identify the virtues under conditions in which the link between virtue and flourishing is so unreliable. Given that the burdened virtues tend to fail to enable their bearers to flourish, one cannot find these virtues simply by beginning with a conception of flourishing and then working backwards from there to see which traits are conducive to or constitutive of such flourishing. What is proposed instead is a variety of ways in which a trait, despite being costly or detrimental, could be otherwise identifiably praiseworthy.

Keywords:   eudaimonism, adversity, oppression, virtue, virtue ethics, flourishing, burden

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