Emotion, deliberation, and the skill model of virtuous agency

Mind and Language 33 (3):299-317 (2018)
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Abstract

A recent skeptical challenge denies deliberation is essential to virtuous agency: what looks like genuine deliberation is just a post hoc rationalization of a decision already made by automatic mechanisms (Haidt 2001; Doris 2015). Annas’s account of virtue seems well-equipped to respond: by modeling virtue on skills, she can agree that virtuous actions are deliberation-free while insisting that their development requires significant thought. But Annas’s proposal is flawed: it over-intellectualizes deliberation’s developmental role and under-intellectualizes its significance once virtue is acquired. Doing better requires paying attention to a distinctive form of anxiety—one that functions to engage deliberation in the face of decisions that automatic mechanisms alone cannot resolve.

Author's Profile

Charlie Kurth
Western Michigan University

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