Aretaic Appraisal and Practical Reason

Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (4):629-656 (2006)
When we criticize someone for being unjust, deceitful, or imprudent -- or commend him as just, truthful, or wise -- what is the content of our evaluation? On one way of thinking, evaluating agents in terms that employ aretaic concepts evaluates how they regulate their actions (and judgment-sensitive attitudes) in light of the reasons that bear on them. On this virtue-centered view of practical reasons appraisal, evaluations of agents in terms of ethical virtues (and vices) are, 'inter alia', evaluations of them as practical reasoners. Here I consider and respond to an objection that threatens to debunk the virtue-centered view.
Keywords Practical reason  virtue  appraisal  ethics  evaluation  Bernard Williams
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DOI 10.1111/j.2041-6962.2006.tb00021.x
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