Journal of the History of Philosophy 40 (2):141-162 (2002)
Howard J. Curzer - Aristotle's Painful Path to Virtue - Journal of the History of Philosophy 40:2 Journal of the History of Philosophy 40.2 141-162 Aristotle's Painful Path to Virtue Howard J. Curzer [P]unishment . . . is a kind of cure . . . . We think young people should be prone to shame . . . . 1. Two Questions FOR ARISTOTLE, THE GOAL OF MORAL development is, of course, to become virtuous. Aristotle provides a partial description of the virtuous person in the following familiar passage. The virtuous person performing virtuous acts, must have knowledge, secondly he must choose the acts, and choose them for their own sakes, and thirdly his actions must proceed from a firm and unchangeable character. By my count, this passage lists five components of virtue. Presumably, the virtuous agent's knowledge consists in true beliefs concerning which acts are virtuous plus a correct account of why they are virtuous. Virtue thus includes both the ability to identify which acts are virtuous in a given situation and an understanding of why they are virtuous. Choice is deliberate desire, so choosing virtuous acts is a combination of determining and desiring virtuous acts. People want to carry out virtuous acts for various reasons. For example, some choose virtuous acts merely because they are fashionable or instrumentally valuable. But Aristotle specifies that the virtuous person desires virtuous acts for their..
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