The Noble: John Casey


Abstract
We can try to imagine a people who in circumstances of hardship and danger—in hunting and warfare, for instance—show endurance, persistence, indifference to pain, and an unflinching readiness to accept death. Yet it may be that these qualities do not have any important place in their picture of themselves. Their courage is simply something they take for granted and it does not go with any practice of praise and blame. They are not proud of themselves when they act bravely, nor ashamed of themselves if they fail to do so. This would be a courage that would be independent of the social practices of praise and blame, admiration and contempt, pride and shame. It would be a courage that did not fit into a scheme of values. This raises the question whether it could properly be regarded as an ethical quality, as a virtue.
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DOI 10.1017/S1358246100002976
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