Journal of Value Inquiry 51 (2):251-262 (2017)

Nicolas Bommarito
Simon Fraser University
The picture of moral development defended by followers of Aristotle takes moral cultivation to be like playing a harp; one gets to be good by actually spending time playing a real instrument. On this view, we cultivate a virtue by doing the actions associated with that virtue. I argue that this picture is inadequate and must be supplemented by imaginative techniques. One can, and sometimes must, cultivate virtue without actually performing the associated actions. Drawing on strands in Buddhist philosophy, I explain several methods of moral development that rely on imagination and visualization rather than overt action. These techniques are essential in cases where cultivating virtue the way one practices the harp is impossible. In particular, I focus on single-event virtues, first-time virtuous acts, and morally dangerous situations.
Keywords Moral Development  Aristotle  Imagination  Lojong  Mind Training  Tsongkhapa  Buddhism  Shantideva  Śāntideva  blo sbyong
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DOI 10.1007/s10790-016-9566-5
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References found in this work BETA

Ethics with Aristotle.Sarah Broadie - 1991 - Oxford University Press.
Aristotle on learning to be good.Myles F. Burnyeat - 1980 - In Amélie Oksenberg Rorty (ed.), Essays on Aristotle's Ethics. University of California Press. pp. 69--92.
Practical Wisdom: A Mundane Account.Rosalind Hursthouse - 2006 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 106 (3):283–307.

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Citations of this work BETA

Imaginative virtue ethics: A transportation-transcendental approach.Surendra Arjoon & Meena Rambocas - 2022 - International Journal of Ethics Education 7 (1):35-51.

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