Noell Birondo
University of Texas at El Paso
Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski believes that a comprehensive moral theory can be constructed by identifying moral exemplars and by investigating (to put it very roughly) what it is that makes them tick. We identify moral exemplars by direct reference to persons we admire "upon reflection." Moral exemplars are persons like that. Two emotions will play a central role in this type of moral theory: admiration, and its opposite, contempt. Zagzebski's theory proceeds by rough analogy with a physical theory that identifies instances of water and then goes on to investigate the physical make-up of the natural kind, water. But an even better comparison, as she says, is to a community of linguistic users which identifies various instances of tigers, say, and then goes on to investigate the (possibly evolving) referent of the species-term "tiger." Zagzebski provides an engaging, illuminating, and deeply human discussion of how the details of this exemplarist approach, with its investigation into the psychological make up of moral exemplars, might be developed.
Keywords Linda Zagzebski  Character  Virtue  Moral Exemplar
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