Acquiring Aristotelian Virtue

In The Oxford Handbook of Virtue. pp. 415-431 (2018)
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Abstract: This chapter examines the role of the virtuous agent in the acquisition of virtue. It rejects the view of the virtuous agent as a direct model for imitation and instead focuses on recent research on the importance of phronesis. Phronesis is understood as a type of moral ‘know how’ expertise that is supported by a variety of abilities, from emotional maturity, to self-reflection, to an empathic understanding of what moves others, to an ability to see beyond the surface and understand the complexities of human behaviour. If we want to acquire virtue instead of focusing on the virtuous agent as such we should be trying to understand the abilities exemplified by his phronesis. As part of this project, I also consider philosophers who seek inspiration from the empirical sciences to shed light on how phronetic expertise is developed and what relevance this may have for moral education.
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