After a brief discussion of the nature of emotion, I argue that emotions can be morally virtuous or vicious independently of their associated overt behaviors. They are relevant to moral character by manifesting our underlying moral cares and concerns. I then defend two important features of the account: First, though emotions play an important part of being a virtuous person, particular emotions are not necessary for being morally virtuous. In particular, I discuss the moral relevance of emotional defects associated with autism and psychopathy. Second, I argue that emotions can be morally virtuous even when they are irrational. This best explains cases where irrational emotions still reflect well on one’s moral character. These features allow for cultural and individual variation between morally virtuous people.
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