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The Development of Ethics: Volume 1From Socrates to the Reformation$
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Terence Irwin

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780198242673

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198242673.001.0001

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Aristotle: Virtue and Morality

Aristotle: Virtue and Morality

(p.198) (p.199) 9 Aristotle: Virtue and Morality
The Development of Ethics: Volume 1


Oxford University Press

Aristotle formulates an account of the virtues, conceived as states of character; he does not seek primarily to find an account of the different types of actions that a virtuous person chooses. Different claims about the priority of virtues over actions need to be considered. Aristotle's theory of the virtues answers some questions in moral psychology, explaining the connexions between virtue, reason, desire, pleasure, and responsibility. The chapter introduces some of the disagreements in order to identify the features of Aristotle's account that have raised controversies of interpretation and of philosophical assessment. The discussion of Aristotle leads to two things from his account of the virtues: it ought to develop naturalism into a systematic theory of the virtues, and it ought to develop naturalism into a systematic theory of morality.

Keywords:   Aristotle, virtues, character, naturalism, morality, moral psychology, reason, pleasure, responsibility

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