What is a Relational Virtue?

Philosophical Studies:1-17 (2020)
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In this paper, I introduce what I call relational virtue and defend it as an important subcategory of virtue. In particular, I argue that it offers a valuable resource for answering questions concerning the value of intimate relationships such as parent-child relationship or friendship. After briefly sketching what I mean by relational virtue, I show why it is a virtue and in what sense we can meaningfully distinguish it from other sorts of virtue. I then describe some distinctive features of relational virtue in more detail and discuss their implications. Next, I present filial piety as the paradigmatic example of relational virtue. I argue that a child s being filial should be understood as an appropriate response to her parent s being virtuous as a parent. I conclude by showing how my relational virtue theory of filial piety can avoid the difficulties faced by previous theories of filial piety such as gratitude theory and friendship theory.
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Archival date: 2020-01-21
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