Living Accountably: Accountability as a Virtue in advance

International Philosophical Quarterly (forthcoming)
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Abstract

This paper tries to show that there is an important virtue (with no generally recognized name) that could be called “accountability.” This virtue is a trait of a person who embraces being held accountable and consistently displays excellence in relations in which the person is held accountable. After describing the virtue in more detail, including its motivational profile, some core features of this virtue are described. Empirical implications and an agenda for future research are briefly discussed. Possible objections to the virtue are considered and rebutted, and relations to other virtues, particularly the personal virtue of justice, are discussed. In conclusion, we suggest that though this virtue has not received the attention it deserves in contemporary society, it has been more clearly recognized in other cultures. Some of the reasons for the partial eclipse of the virtue are understandable and justifiable, but there are good reasons to think our society would be improved if we paid more attention to accountability from a virtue perspective.

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Author Profiles

C. Stephen Evans
Baylor University
Brandon Rickabaugh
Palm Beach Atlantic University

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References found in this work

Justice for Hedgehogs.Ronald Dworkin - 2011 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
On Being Responsible and Holding Responsible.Angela M. Smith - 2007 - The Journal of Ethics 11 (4):465-484.
The Character Gap: How Good Are We?Christian B. Miller - 2017 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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