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A Theory of VirtueExcellence in Being for the Good$
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Robert Merrihew Adams

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199207510

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199207510.001.0001

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Can Virtue Be Taught?

Can Virtue Be Taught?

(p.212) 12 Can Virtue Be Taught?
A Theory of Virtue

Robert Merrihew Adams (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter sketches a map of the ground to be covered in education for virtue, organized around a progression of three types of tasks of moral education. It is argued that society is pretty effective inelementarytasks of initiation into the use of ethical concepts andmodularor domain-specific tasks of teaching people how to cooperate in particular institutions and roles.Integrativetasks — more difficult but indispensable for the formation of a clearly good moral character — seem to demand more individual autonomy, and to lie less within the power of social groups. In opposition to some situationist arguments, the last section of the chapter defends the desirability of teaching virtue to the extent that it can be taught.

Keywords:   education for virtue, elementary tasks, modular tasks, integrative tasks, ethical concepts, individual autonomy, social groups

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