ERIC Number: EJ1077710
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Reference Count: N/A
Comments on Nancy Snow, "Generativity and Flourishing"
Journal of Moral Education, v44 n3 p278-283 2015
In her rich and wide-ranging paper, Nancy Snow argues that there is a virtue of generativity--an other-regarding desire to invest one's substance in forms of life and work that will outlive the self (p. 10). By "virtue" Snow means not just a desirable or praiseworthy quality of a person, but more precisely, as Aristotle defined it, a disposition to respond to certain facts in the world as reasons for acting, guided by a practical wisdom that ensures the appropriateness of these actions to the circumstances (p. 13). Among Snow's reasons for classing generativity as a virtue are the fact that it is necessary (although not sufficient) for flourishing, that it is other-regarding, that it could become dispositional, that it fits into forms of life Aristotle counts as flourishing (p. 14) and that it is a mean between a deficiency (rejectivity, self-absorption and stagnation) and an excess (intense ego-driven desire to leave a legacy) (pp. 15-16). In her response to Snow's "Generativity and Flourishing" (EJ1077701), Rachana Kamtekar points out an ambiguity in Snow's thesis, between the claims that generativity itself is a virtue (p. 12) and that certain expressions of generativity are virtuous (p. 9). If Snow's thesis is the former, Kamtekar doesn't think Aristotle could accept it; if it is the latter, then Kamtekar believes Snow has a closer ally and antecedent in Plato, and in any case some reasons to distance herself from Aristotle.
Descriptors: Ethics, Personality Traits, Philosophy, Personality Problems, Self Concept, Moral Values, Interpersonal Relationship, Rejection (Psychology)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A