Plato and the Virtue of Courage canvasses contemporary discussions of courage and offers a new and controversial account of Plato's treatment of the concept. Linda R. Rabieh examines Plato's two main thematic discussions of courage, in the Laches and the Republic, and discovers that the two dialogues together yield a coherent, unified treatment of courage that explores a variety of vexing questions: Can courage be separated from justice, so that one can act courageously while advancing (...) an unjust cause? Can courage be legitimately called a virtue? What role does wisdom play in courage? What role does courage play in wisdom? Based on Plato's presentation, Rabieh argues that a refined version of traditional heroic courage, notwithstanding certain excesses to which it is prone, is worth honoring and cultivating for several reasons. Chief among these is that, by facilitating the pursuit of wisdom, such courage can provide a crucial foundation for the courage most deserving of the name. (shrink)
Plato's thinking on courage, manliness and heroism is both profound and central to his work, but these areas of his thought remain underexplored. This book examines his developing critique of the notions and embodiments of manliness prevalent in his culture (particularly those in Homer), and his attempt to redefine such notions in accordance with his ethical, psychological and metaphysical principles. It further seeks to locate the discussion within the framework of Plato's general approach to ethics.
The first section of this article argues that the best-known definition of physical courage, stemming from Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, is less than fit for today’s military. Having done so, a short outline is given of more ‘scientific’ approaches to physical courage, drawing mainly on insights offered by psychologists, and of the problems that are inherent to these approaches. Subsequently, the article turns to a topic that is often paid lip service to in the military, yet remains somewhat hard (...) to pin down: moral courage. Although both forms of courage are intertwined, they are so in a less straightforward manner than is often thought. The way the development of physical courage in today’s military is undertaken, for instance, contributes little to the development of moral courage. (shrink)
Combining in-depth analysis with strikingly apt examples of the role that courage plays in the life of human beings, this major contribution to moral philosophy argues that courage is necessary to personal achievement as well as to the common good of a civic community. Bauhn insists that courage is necessary for reinforcing people's understanding of themselves as autonomous agents, which is in turn necessary for countering widespread feelings of alienation and depression. He defines courage as the (...) ability to confront fear, but crucially distinguishes a variety of fears that give rise to different types of courage. (shrink)
Empirical studies in business ethics often rely on self-reported data, but this reliance is open to criticism. Responses to questionnaires and interviews may be influenced by the subject''s view of what the researcher might want to hear, by a reluctance to talk about sensitive ethical issues, and by imperfect recall. This paper reviews the extent to which published research in business ethics relies on interviews and questionnaires, and then explores the possibilities of using secondary data, such as company documents and (...) newspaper reports, as a source for empirical studies in applied ethics. A specific example is then discussed, describing the source material, the method, the development of the research questions, and the way in which reliability and validity were established. In the example, content analysis was used to examine the extent to which the executive virtue of courage was observed or called for in items published in four international daily newspapers, and to explore the meaning which was attributed to "courage" in the papers. (shrink)
In this paper, I reveal systematic aspects of the moral epistemology of the Warring States Confucian, Mengzi. Mengzi thinks moral knowledge is 'internally' available to humans because it is acquired through normative dictates built into the human heart-mind (xin). Those dictates are capable of motivating and justifying an agent's normative categorizations. Such dictates are linked to Mengzi's conception of human nature (ren xing) as good. I then interpret Mengzi's difficult discussion of courage and qi in Mengzi 2A: 2 as (...) illuminating the idea of 'internal' justification. The epistemology of courage is intimately related in 2A: 2 to its practice. Finally, I indicate at the end in outline the ways in which Mengzi and Gaozi are engaged in a dispute about moral epistemology that pits each of them against Xunzi and also against Zhuangzi. (shrink)
Scholars have shown renewed interest in the construct of courage. Recent studies have explored its theoretical underpinnings and measurement. Yet courage is generally discussed in its broad form to include physical, psychological, and moral features. To understand a more practical form of moral courage, research is needed to uncover how ethical challenges are effectively managed in organizational settings. We argue that professional moral courage (PMC) is a managerial competency. To describe it and derive items for scale (...) development, we studied managers in the U.S. military and examined prior work on moral courage. Two methods were used to measure PMC producing a five dimensional scale that organized under a single second-order factor, which we termed overall PMC. The five dimensions are moral agency, multiple values, endurance of threats, going beyond compliance, and moral goals. Convergent and discriminant validity are analyzed by use of confirmatory factor analysis procedures. We conclude by presenting a framework for proactive organizational ethics, which reflects how to support PMC as a management practice. (shrink)
The different meanings of “courage” in The Analects were expressed in Confucius’ remark on Zilu’s bravery. The typological analysis of courage in Mencius and Xunzi focused on the shaping of the personalities of brave persons. “Great courage” and “superior courage”, as the virtues of “great men” or “ shi junzi 士君子 (intellectuals with noble characters)”, exhibit not only the uprightness of the “internal sagacity”, but also the rich implications of the “external kingship”. The prototype of these (...) brave persons could be said to be between Zengzi’s courage and King Wen’s courage. The discussion entered a new stage of Neo-Confucianism in the Song and Ming dynasties, when admiration for “Yanzi’s great valor” became the key of various arguments. The order of “the three cardinal virtues” was also discussed because it concerned the relationship between “finished virtue” and “novice virtue”; hence, the virtue of courage became internalized as an essence of the internal virtuous life. At the turn of the 20 th century, when China was trembling under the threat of foreign powers, intellectuals remodeled the tradition of courage by redefining “Confucius’ great valor”, as Liang Qichao did in representative fashion in his book Chinese Bushido . Hu Shi’s Lun Ru 论儒 (On Ru ) was no more than a repetition of Liang’s opinion. In the theoretical structures of the modern Confucians, courage is hardly given a place. As one of the three cardinal virtues, bravery is but a concept. In a contemporary society where heroes and sages exist only in history books, do we need to talk about courage? How should it be discussed? These are questions which deserve our consideration. (shrink)
This article offers a critical perspective on two lines of thought in recent epistemology and philosophy of science, namely Michael Dummett?s anti-realist approach to issues of truth, meaning, and knowledge and Bas van Fraassen?s influential programme of ?constructive empiricism?. While not denying the salient differences between them (the one a metaphysical doctrine premised on logicolinguistic considerations, the other a thesis primarily concerned with the scope and limits of empirical inquiry) it shows how they converge on a sceptical outlook concerning the (...) realist claim that truth might always transcend the restrictions of some given (or indeed some future best-possible) state of knowledge. The author puts the case that such sceptical arguments, if followed through consistently, must involve giving up all claim to account for our knowledge of the growth of scientific knowledge. He also takes issue with Dummett?s idea of truth as nothing more than a matter of ?warranted assertibility? and with van Fraassen?s likewise verificationist conception of empirical warrant as the most we can have by way of epistemic justification. Thus it is wrong to suppose that the realist is merely indulging in a display of ?courage not under fire? when she assumes ontological commitments in excess of the observational data. This disavowal of realism in favour of a theory which ?saves the (empirical) appearances? has a less-than-distinguished prehistory in the range of compromise strategies adopted by upholders of a dominant metaphysics or world-view, starting out with the orthodox Catholic attempt to defuse the implications of the heliocentric hypothesis advanced by Copernicus and Galileo. Such theological motives are nowadays not so prominent although ? it is suggested fithey do emerge at certain points in Dummett?s writing. More constructively, this article presents a case for objectivism with regard to scientific truth and also for inference to the best causal explanation on both the micro- and the macrophysical scale as the only approach with an adequate claim to make sense of the history of advancements in scientific knowledge to date. (shrink)
This article considers Socrates's conception of courage in Plato's Socratic dialogues. Although the Laches, which is the only dialogue devoted in toto to a pursuit of the definition of courage, does not explicitly provide Socrates's definition of courage, I shall point out clues therein which contribute to an understanding of Socrates's conception of courage. The Protagoras is a peculiar dialogue in which Socrates himself offers a definition of courage. Attending to the dramatic structure and personalities (...) of the dialogue, I will point out that Socrates does not commit to the definition and that the hedonism and the definition of courage are used to disclose Protagoras's confusion regarding virtue. Following one of the clues within the Laches I will turn to the Apology and indicate Socrates's conception of courage which is based on his awareness of lack of knowledge of death and his religious conviction that nothing will happen for the good in life or in death. Finally I will show that such conception of Socratic courage satisfies the criteria in the Laches. (shrink)
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.”. (shrink)
In this essay, I argue that contemporary democratic theory gives insufficient attention to the important contributions dissenting citizens make to democratic life. Guided by the dissident practices of activist women, I develop a more expansive conception of citizenship that recognizes dissent and an ethic of political courage as vital elements of democratic participation. I illustrate how this perspective on citizenship recasts and reclaims women's courageous dissidence by reconsidering the well-known story of Rosa Parks.
Organizations constitute morally-complex environments, requiring organization members to possess levels of moral courage sufficient to promote their ethical action, while refraining from unethical actions when faced with temptations or pressures. Using a sample drawn from a military context, we explored the antecedents and consequences of moral courage. Results from this four-month field study demonstrated that authentic leadership was positively related to followers’ displays of moral courage. Further, followers’ moral courage fully mediated the effects of authentic leadership (...) on followers’ ethical and pro-social behaviors. Theoretical and practical implications for further integrating the work on moral courage, authentic leadership and ethics are discussed. (shrink)
In this paper I intend to present two concepts of courage, with the purpose of introducing two different ways in which the classical virtue of courage may serve goals of personal achievement and goals of collective flourishing respectively. The two forms of courage that I will distinguish are the courage of creativity and the courage of conviction, respectively. The courage of creativity is the ability to confront the fear of failure, this ability being directed (...) by the agent's will to achieve, while the courage of conviction is the ability to confront the fear of personal transience, this ability being directed by the agent's sense of moral responsibility. While not necessarily being a moral virtue, courage in the first of its two forms constitutes an important component of the agent's capacity for self-fulfilment. In its other form it enables the agent to confront the fears of meaninglessness and of being a social outcast, involving her in a quest for objectivity and in doing the right thing rather than giving in to conventions. (shrink)
Abstract Moral courage involves acting in the service of one?s convictions, in spite of the risk of retaliation or punishment. I suggest that moral courage also involves a capacity to face others as moral agents, and thus in a manner that does not objectify them. A moral stand can only be taken toward another moral agent. Often, we find ourselves unable to face others in this way, because to do so is frightening, or because we are consumed by (...) blinding anger. But without facing others as moral subjects, we risk moral cowardice on the one hand and moral fanaticism on the other. (shrink)
This article discusses Confucius's view of courage in comparison with Aristotle's and Neo-Confucians'. It proposes the following arguments: (i) Confucius's conception of courage is much broader than Aristotle's, since it does not confine courage to the category of martial virtue and moral excellence that presupposes a noble motive; (ii) both Confucius's and Aristotle's conceptions of courage hold that courage is concerned with the fear of external threats but not the strength in self-improvement as Neo-Confucians have (...) proposed; and (iii) Confucius's conception of courage is more relevant and significant than Aristotle's and Neo-Confucians' to contemporary life. (shrink)
The paper examines the problematic understanding of “risk” in entrepreneurial literature that locates courage in either the loss orgain of having or in the difficulty and hardship of the doing. We argue in this paper that what is lost in this vernacular view of courage is a deeper notion of the subjective dimension of work and the social need of society. Grounded within the Catholic social and moral tradition, we find a richer notion of courage, which in (...) part corrects and rounds out the insufficient description of the vernacular understanding of courage in entrepreneurship. What we also find in this account of the virtues and subjective dimension of work is greater explanatory power of what happens to the entrepreneur in the work that he or she does. The end result of this analysis is a more spiritual, ethical and social understanding of entrepreneurship. (shrink)
This paper presents an experiential exercise introducing the concept of the personal ethical threshold (PET) to help explain why moral behavior does not always follow moral intention. An individual’s PET represents the individual’s vulnerability to situational factors, i.e., how little or much it takes for members of organizations to cross their proverbial line to act in a way they deem unethical. The PET reflects the interplay among the situation, the particular ethical issue, and the individual. Exploring the PET can help (...) account for why some people are sometimes able to withstand substantial organizational pressures to behave in congruence with their ethical intentions, whereas others crumble in the face of apparently minimal situational forces. We hope that students’ exposure to and subsequent reflection upon their PET, by means of the exercise we present, will foster the development of their moral courage. (shrink)
This paper develops the basis for a new account of radical moral imagination, understood as the transformation of moral understandings through creative response to the sensed inadequacy of one's moral concepts or morally significant appraisals of lived experience. Against Miranda Fricker, I argue that this kind of transition from moral perplexity to increased moral insight is not primarily a matter of the “top-down” use of concepts. Against Susan Babbitt, I argue that it is not primarily a matter of “bottom-up” intuitive (...) responsiveness to experience. Beyond courage and hope, radical moral imagination involves the articulation of inchoate experience, which allows individuals to make new kinds of moral moves and to lay claim to others' acknowledgment of the meaning of these moves. (shrink)
An important question about the nature of courage is whether it is a form of self-control. In this paper I argue that there are different kinds of courage and therefore the question whether courage is a form of self-control cannot be given a uniform answer. Courage exhibited in all cases may be classified as either spontaneous or deliberative courage. Spontaneous courage is not a form of self-control and usually is called for in emergency situations. (...) It results from long-term moral cultivation, not a mindless impulse. Deliberative courage is usually shown in nonemergency situations. It may or may not involve self-control. In general, other things being equal, courage without exercising self-control is morally preferable. The absence of self-control is a necessary condition for ideal courage but ordinary courage is always accompanied by the exercise of will power. (shrink)
How may progressive political theorists advance the Enlightenment after Darwin shifted the conversation about human nature in the nineteenth century, the Holocaust displayed barbarity at the historical center of the Enlightenment, and 9/11 showed the need to modify the ideals and strategies of the Enlightenment? Kantian Courage considers how several figures in contemporary political theory--including John Rawls, Gilles Deleuze, and Tariq Ramadan--do just this as they continue Immanuel Kant's legacy.
Table of ContentsAndrzej KLAWITER, Krzystof #ASTOWSKI: Introduction: Originality, Courage and Responsibility List of Books by Leszek NowakSelected Bibliography of Leszek Nowak's WritingsScience and Idealization Theo A.F. KUIPERS: On Two ...
This interactive teaching workshop explored what it means to “teach from the heart.” It adopted the format of the wisdom circle to ask participants to share peak teaching experiences so that they could reflect on what their stories reveal about their inner selves as teachers. The hope was that, by learning how to speak with their “authentic” voices, participants could gain the insight and courage needed to better connect with their students as co-learners.
Ethics research literature often uses Rest’s Four Component Model of ethical behavior as a framework to teach business and accounting ethics. Moral motivation, including resolve to have moral courage, is the third component of the model and is the least-tested component in ethics research. Using a quasi-experimental design with pretest and posttest measurements, we compare the effectiveness of several methods (traditional, exhortation, reflection, moral exemplar) for developing resolve to have moral courage in 211 accounting students during one semester. (...) Results show that traditional, reflection, moral exemplar methods increased resolve to have moral courage, and that the reflection and moral exemplar methods were more effective than the other methods. (shrink)
The relationship between medical clinicians and patients is described as potentially tragic in nature and a context in which courage can be a relevant virtue. Danger, risk, uncertainty, and choice are presented as features of clinical relationships that also function as necessary conditions for courage. The clinician is seen as a ‘sustaining presence’ who has duties of ‘encouragement’ with respect to patients. The patient is seen to have a duty to learn the condition of human existence which can (...) be discovered in clinical relations and to develop the virtues necessary to a fitting negotiation of human life. Case examples of courage on the parts of the principal participants in the clinical encounter are provided. In addition, several goods for clinicians and patients as objects of courage are identified. Keywords: virtue, courage, tragedy, clinical medicine CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
This article deals with the notion of honor and its role in today’s military as an incentive in combat, but also as a check on the behavior on both the battlefield and in modern “operations other than war.” First, an outline will be given of what honor is and how it relates to traditional views on military courage. After that, the Roman honor-ethic, stating that honor is a necessary incentive for courageous behavior and that it is something worth dying (...) for, is contrasted with today’s prevailing view which sees honor as something obsolete and archaic and not as a legitimate motive. The article then addresses the way honor continues to have a role in today’s military, despite its diminishing role in society at large. Subsequently, the drawbacks of the military’s use of the honor ethic are addressed, focusing also on the current operation in Iraq. The final section tries to find a solution to these problems. (shrink)
Lys. You have seen the exhibition of the man fighting in armour, Nicias and Laches, but we did not tell you at the time the reason why my friend Melesias and I asked you to go with us and see him. I think that we may as well confess what this was, for we certainly ought not to have any reserve with you. The reason was, that we were intending to ask your advice. Some laugh at the very notion of (...) advising others, and when they are asked will not say what they think. They guess at the wishes of the person who asks them, and answer according to his, and not according to their own, opinion. But as we know that you are good judges, and will say exactly what you think, we have taken you into our counsels. The matter about which I am making all this preface is as follows: Melesias and I have two sons; that is his son, and he is named Thucydides, after his grandfather; and this is mine, who is also called after his grandfather, Aristides. Now, we are resolved to take the greatest care of the youths, and not to let them run about as they like, which is too often the way with the young. (shrink)
Ethical conduct is the hallmark of excellence in engineering and scientific research, design, and practice. While undergraduate and graduate programs in these areas routinely emphasize ethical conduct, few receive formal ethics training as part of their curricula. The first purpose of this research study was to assess the relative effectiveness of ethics education in enhancing individuals’ general knowledge of the responsible conduct of research practices and their level of moral reasoning. Secondly, we examined the effects of ethics education on the (...) positive psychological outcomes of perspective-taking, moral efficacy, moral courage, and moral meaningfulness. To examine our research hypotheses, we utilized a pretest–posttest quasi-experimental design consisting of three ethics education groups (control, embedded modules, and stand-alone courses). Findings revealed that both embedded and stand alone courses were effective in enhancing participants’ perspective-taking, moral efficacy, and moral courage. Moral meaningfulness was marginally enhanced for the embedded module condition. Moral judgment and knowledge of responsible conduct of research practices were not influenced by either ethics education condition. Contrary to expectations, stand alone courses were not superior to embedded modules in influencing the positive psychological outcomes investigated. Implications of these findings for future research and practice are discussed. (shrink)
In this article we examine the true scope of the right Hobbes recognizes, even for the subjects of a State, to life. We hold that the right to live includes the subject's right not to accept to be deprived not only of life but also of limb; a right not to have to kill; a right not to accept to be imprisoned. The sovereign of course has a right to kill, mutilate and arrest but the conflict of his right and (...) the subject's is an original feature of Hobbes's political thought, not to be found for instance in Locke's. Also, since life is motion and desire is a continual progress from one object to another, the mere survival of the subject is not enough to make him content once peace has been achieved. The expression of the subject's discontent is illegal, but it may happen since we can understand the right to live as a right to an ever more ambitious desire. The ruler who wants to avoid discontent and its uncivil effects should in a certain measure pave the way for economic development, in order to permit the subjects to at least partially attain their desire. Obviously this is not a moral duty of the sovereign, but a prudential one, if he does not want to risk losing his office. (shrink)
In the opinion of many Western observers (e.g. Timothy Garton Ash) as well as Polish authors (e.g., Zdzisław Kransnodębski), the political thought of Solidarność was a mixture of ideas taken from different ideological traditions (right and left). What, in the aforementioned authors opinion, was a reason for pride was an object of criticism by Leszek Nowak, the eminent Polish philosopher, engaged in the movement. One of his most important charges against the political thought of this movement was its intellectual provincialism (...) and its inability to propose something new and fresh. The purpose of this paper is to present Nowak's reflection on the political thought of Solidarność in years 1980-1981. I show that he presses three general kinds of objections. According to Nowak, the political thought of the movement had formal-internal deficiencies (it provided no clear theoretical vision), cognitive deficiencies (it was incapable of offering an adequate diagnosis of the situation) and policy deficiencies (it was incapable of indicating the appropriate course of action). (shrink)
A brave man leaveth not the battle, He who flieth from it is no true warrior, In the field of this body a great war is toward Against Passion, Hunger, Pride and Greed, It is for the Kingdom of Truth, of Contentment and of Purity that this battle is raging: And the sword that ringeth most loudly is the sword Of His name. —KABIR, Hindu Poet.