Books and becoming good: demonstrating Aristotle's theory of moral development in the act of reading

Journal of Moral Education 34 (2):171-183 (2005)
Abstract
In the Nicomachean ethics, Aristotle sets down a scattered and fractional account of the development of moral virtue within young people. Philosopher Martha Nussbaum defends Aristotle's neglect of a systematic account of moral development and argues that more complex expressions of character?building, such as learning to expose oneself to proper desires, feelings, pleasures and pains, are better illustrated through drama or literature than through philosophy. In this vein, the author draws upon literary thinkers J.B. Kerfoot, Sven Birkerts and Wayne C. Booth, as well as the imaginative Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, to illustrate more concretely Aristotle's process of moral development. The author concludes with a proviso about the vulnerability of the connected process of reading and moral development in the current consumer culture
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