Wisdom and the Origins of Moral Knowledge

In Elisa Grimi, John Haldane, Maria Margarita Mauri Alvarez, Michael Wladika, Marco Damonte, Michael Slote, Randall Curren, Christian B. Miller, Liezl Zyl, Christopher D. Owens, Scott J. Roniger, Michele Mangini, Nancy Snow & Christopher Toner (eds.), Virtue Ethics: Retrospect and Prospect. Springer. pp. 67-80 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Aristotle presents his Nicomachean Ethics and Politics as an ordered pair comprising political science (hê politikê epistêmê), suggesting an axiomatic structure of theorems that are demonstratively deduced from first principles. He holds that this systematic knowledge of ethical and legislative matters provides the ‘universals’ essential to phronesis or practical wisdom, and that its acquisition begins in sound habituation. Aristotle thereby assigns habituation an epistemic role that must be understood in light of his account of the nature of a science. This paper argues that what would be inductively established by, or on the basis of, sound habituation is the supposition that the natural kind of activity constitutive of living well exists; it establishes the supposition on which Aristotle’s definition of a eudaimon life rests. Having addressed this central interpretive issue, the paper sketches a psychologically grounded position on the substantive philosophical questions at stake. Are there natural signs of flourishing and failure to flourish present to us in our experience of attempts to live well? If such signs exist but are not sufficient to qualify ethical beliefs as knowledge in their own right, might they play a role in a science of what is good and bad for human beings?



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,439

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Does Aristotle believe that habituation is only for children?Wouter Sanderse - 2020 - Journal of Moral Education 49 (1):98-110.
Practices of Reason: Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics.C. D. C. Reeve - 1992 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Aristotle on the nature of ethos and ethismos.Margaret Hampson - 2022 - In Jeremy Dunham & Komarine Romdenh-Romluc (eds.), Habit and the History of Philosophy. New York, NY: Rewriting the History of Philosophy. pp. 37-50.
Habituation, Habit, and Character in Aristotle’s Ethics.Thornton Lockwood - 2013 - In Tom Sparrow & Adam Hutchinson (eds.), A History of Habit: From Aristotle to Bourdieu. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. pp. 19-36.
Ethical Habituation and Pleasure.Paul O'Leary - 2007 - Paideusis: Journal of the Canadian Philosophy of Education Society 16 (1):41-45.
Practices of reason: Aristotle's Nicomachean ethics.C. D. C. Reeve - 1992 - New York: Oxford University Press.


Added to PP

13 (#1,061,783)

6 months
6 (#735,879)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Randall R. Curren
University of Rochester

Citations of this work

Communication levels of the individual.V. M. Rubskyi - 2019 - Anthropological Measurements of Philosophical Research 16:24-32.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references