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ERIC Number: EJ1164960
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Nov
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0309-8249
Virtue through Challenge: Moral Development and Self-Transformation
Miller, Alistair
Journal of Philosophy of Education, v51 n4 p785-800 Nov 2017
In this article, I argue that although the Aristotelian ideal of leading a virtuous life for its own sake is admirable, conventional Aristotelian and neo-Aristotelian accounts of how it might be realised are empirically inadequate: Habituation is unlikely to produce "a love of virtue", practical experience cannot then produce practical judgement or phronesis, and Aristotle's conception of a virtuous life excludes all but an idealised elite. Instead, I argue that two conceptually distinct aspects of moral development can be identified: the "Aristotelian" and the "Humean". In the former, the desire to lead a virtuous life for its own sake is produced through certain forms of challenging experience which, by disturbing and decentring the egoistic self, evoke a personal moral transformation. In the latter, the capacity to act well in specific social situations is the outcome of a process of socialisation, first in upbringing and later through initiation into the practices of adult life. Both aspects should be promoted in moral education for together they produce something akin to full virtue in the Aristotelian sense: Practical wisdom and practical judgement--or phronesis. Moreover, "the good life" is best conceived as encompassing a variety of transcendent goods. To live a virtuous life for its own sake constitutes one good or form of human flourishing; but it is not the only one.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A