Virtuous act, virtuous dispositions

Analysis 66 (289):69–76 (2006)
Everyday moral thought uses the concepts of virtue and vice at two different levels. At what I will call a global level it applies these concepts to persons or to stable character traits or dispositions. Thus we may say that a person is brave or has a standing trait of generosity or malice. But we also apply these concepts more locally, to specific acts or mental states such as occurrent desires or feelings. Thus we may say that a particular act was brave or that a desire or pleasure felt at a particular moment was malicious. Even when they concern acts, these last judgements are of virtuousness rather than of moral rightness. They therefore turn essentially on a person’s motives; while he can act rightly from a bad motive, he cannot act virtuously from a bad motive. But they assess the virtue or vice of particular acts and mental states rather than of persons or traits of character. These global and local uses of the virtue-concepts are clearly connected, in that we expect virtuous persons to perform and have, and virtuous traits to issue in, particular virtuous acts, desires, and feelings. A philosophical account of virtue should explain this connection, but there are two different ways of doing so. Each takes one of the two uses to be primary and treats the other as derivative, but they disagree about which is the primary use. A dispositional view takes the global use to be primary and identifies virtuous acts, desires, and feelings in part as ones that issue from virtuous..
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-8284.2006.00591.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,217
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Aristotle (2012). Nicomachean Ethics. Courier Dover Publications.

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Daniel Doviak (2011). A New Form of Agent-Based Virtue Ethics. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (3):259-272.
Kelly Sorensen (2010). Effort and Moral Worth. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (1):89 - 109.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

120 ( #36,222 of 1,932,453 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

9 ( #102,864 of 1,932,453 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.