Lecture 10 - Virtue and Habit II

author: Tamar Gendler, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: Feb. 19, 2014,   recorded: February 2011,   views: 1806
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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Although we become virtuous by acting as the virtuous person does, a close reading of Aristotle’s text shows that, on his account, it is not enough to be virtuous that we act in certain ways. What’s needed, according to Aristotle, is that you knowingly act virtuously for its own sake from a stable character, and do so with pleasure. Professor Gendler turns to Julia Annas’s suggestion that Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi’s idea of flow may be helpful in characterizing the condition that you take pleasure in the virtuous act. Finally, a critique of virtue ethics from John Doris and situationist psychology is raised which offers experimental evidence that casts doubt on the existence of stable character traits.

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