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Intellectual VirtuePerspectives from Ethics and Epistemology$
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Michael DePaul and Linda Zagzebski

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199252732

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199252732.001.0001

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Practical Reason and its Virtues

Practical Reason and its Virtues

(p.81) 4 Practical Reason and its Virtues
Intellectual Virtue

J. L. A. Garcia

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the instrumentalist's conception of practical reasoning favoured by consequentialists is inadequate. Despite Amartya Sen's formidable defence of consequentialism, it is argued that consequentialism is incapable of protecting one from the moral horrors of the twentieth century, which almost always arise from its affinity to a kind of sympathy for humanity as a whole. The chapter offers an alternative to the moral life. It is constituted by four planks: (i) moral features derive from one's role-relationships to other people; (ii) it is virtue based, that is, it makes judgments of attitudinal responses deemed either virtuous or vicious; (iii) it is patient focused, that is, the fundamental attitudes of virtues are those directed towards the persons with whom the agent is related in the relevant role; and (iv) it is input-driven, that is, the moral status of an act is determined by its motivational input, not its consequential output.

Keywords:   consequentialism, Jorge Garcia, input-driven, moral horrors, moral life, motivational input, patient focused, role-relationships, Amartya Sen, virtue based

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