Thinking the Right Way (at the Right Time) about Virtues and Skills [Book Review]

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (2):577-586 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX


I discuss three features of Matt Stichter’s new book The Skillfulness of Virtue. The thesis of the book is that virtue is best conceptualized as a type of skill, and the chapters of the book explore the implications of this thesis for our understanding of moral development, social psychology and comparisons of virtuous agents with agents who exhibit familiar types of non-moral expertise. The features of the book that I examine are (1) Stichter’s rejection of an ability to articulate reasons for acting as a necessary condition for acting virtuously; (2) his comparison of expertise and virtue with respect to apt motivations and practical wisdom; and (3) whether his thesis invites a comparison of virtue and familiar non-moral expertise that is ultimately unfavourable to the adoption of virtue ethics as a normative ethical theory. I present no devastating objections, for I agree with most of what Stichter presents in the book. Rather, my aim is to raise points of clarification that might further the stimulating discussion of virtues and skills that Stichter’s book already provides.

Author's Profile

Scott Woodcock
University of Victoria


Added to PP

62 (#69,147)

6 months
55 (#28,926)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?