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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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Lust and Chastity

Lust and Chastity

(p.114) (p.115) 5 Lust and Chastity
Virtues and Their Vices

Colleen McCluskey

Oxford University Press

Although there are notable exceptions, a significant part of the current secular literature argues that lust is the virtue and chastity the vice. This is in contrast with the historical tradition that regards lust as a vice and chastity as a virtue. This chapter examines representative arguments for each perspective, comparing Aquinas’ account with the more recent treatment of Simon Blackburn. Although the traditional view is unduly narrow, the current view is too broad insofar as it fails to acknowledge the role of friendship in the pursuit of sexual pleasure. Thus, to characterize lust as a virtue and chastity as a vice is premature. As long as one can distinguish between virtuous and unvirtuous sexual activity, lust will be a vice and chastity a virtue

Keywords:   Aquinas, Blackburn, lust, chastity, sexual pleasure, sexual activity, friendship

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