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Virtues and Their Vices$
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Kevin Timpe and Craig A. Boyd

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199645541

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199645541.001.0001

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Virtue in Political Thought: On Civic Virtue in Political Liberalism

Virtue in Political Thought: On Civic Virtue in Political Liberalism

(p.414) (p.415) 19 Virtue in Political Thought: On Civic Virtue in Political Liberalism
Virtues and Their Vices

Christie Hartley

Lori Watson

Oxford University Press

In this essay, we discuss civic virtue in political theory. In particular, we discuss civic virtue in perfectionist and anti-perfectionist political theories; such theories differ markedly with respect to their accounts of the role and content of civic virtue. Given that anti-perfectionists do not think the state should aim to promote a particular view of the good life (e.g. John Rawls), one might question whether anti-perfectionist political theories include or are compatible with an account of civic virtue at all. We aim to address this question by providing the groundwork for a politically liberal account of civic virtue. Political liberalism, we think, is the most defensible form of anti-perfectionism, and we claim its central tenets provide a substantive basis from which to develop an account of civic virtue.

Keywords:   civic virtue, political liberalism, perfectionism, anti-perfectionism, Rawls

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