Are You Man Enough? Aristotle and Courage

There are four features to Aristotle’s account of courage that appear peculiar when compared to our own intuitions about this virtue: (1) his account of courage seems not, on its surface, to fit a eudaimonist model, (2) courage is restricted to a surprisingly small number of actions, (3) this restriction, among other things, excludes women and non-combatant men from ever exercising this virtue, and (4) courage is counted as virtuous because of its nobility and beauty. In this paper I explore Aristotle’s account of courage while being attentive to these features, and conclude with a brief consideration of how one might, without ignoring the peculiarities of his own treatment, apply Aristotle’s account of courage to a wider range of actions and actors than he would allow by employing analogoussenses of the terms “life” and “death.”.
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DOI 10.5840/ipq201050431
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