David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (2):259-274 (2012)
This paper offers a novel, secular account of the virtue of humility. There are only two such accounts in recent philosophical literature: one defended by Julia Driver, the other by George Schueler. Driver attaches the virtue of humility to people who underestimate their merits, or lack beliefs about their merits altogether. Schueler thinks that humility requires indifference to how we are regarded vis-à-vis our accomplishments. This paper brings out the limitations of those accounts and constructs a new one which is free of them. The new account derives directly from the under-appreciated approach defended a century ago by Hastings Rashdall, who developed a secular (albeit religiously-inspired) account of humility according to which true humility reflects love for one's neighbour. After indicating the flaws in Rashdall's approach, I develop an account based on his intuitions. Specifically, I argue that humility requires suppressing our egos when they lead us to neglect or disregard other duties. Humility comprises two dimensions: a private dimension, for when we uphold self-regarding duties rather than succumb to the temptations of ego; and a public dimension, for when we display fidelity to other-regarding duties at the expense of the pleasures of ego
|Keywords||Virtue Humility Modesty|
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References found in this work BETA
Henry Sidgwick (1907/1996). The Methods of Ethics. Thoemmes Press.
Julia Driver (1999). Modesty and Ignorance. Ethics 109 (4):827-834.
G. F. Schueler (1997). Why Modesty is a Virtue. Ethics 107 (3):467-485.
G. F. Schueler (1999). Why IS Modesty a Virtue? Ethics 109 (4):835-841.
Hastings Rashdall (1907). The Theory of Good and Evil. Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 4 (20):548-553.
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