Virtues of Historiography

Abstract

In this paper, I take up Herman Paul’s suggestion to analyze the process of writing history in terms of virtues. In contrast to Paul, however, I argue that the concept of virtue used here should not be based on virtue epistemology, but rather on virtue ethics. The reason is that virtue epistemology is discriminative towards non-coginitive virtues and incompatible with the Ankersmitian/Whitean view of historiography as a multivocal path from historical reality to historical representation. Virtue ethics on the other hand, more specifically those forms of virtue ethics which emphasize the uncodifiability thesis, is very capable of providing such an account. In order to make this somewhat more concrete, I distinguish four important traits of virtue ethics, and I try to make clear how these can be interpreted with respect to the writing of history.

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2012-08-16

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Anton Froeyman
University of Ghent

References found in this work

Modern Moral Philosophy.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1958 - Philosophy 33 (124):1 - 19.
Virtue and Reason.John McDowell - 1979 - The Monist 62 (3):331-350.
Virtue and Reason.John McDowell - 1997 - In Roger Crisp & Michael Slote (eds.), Virtue Ethics. Oxford University Press.
Modern Moral Philosophy.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1958 - In Thomas L. Carson & Paul K. Moser (eds.), Morality and the Good Life. Oup Usa.
Modern Moral Philosophy.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1997 - In Roger Crisp & Michael Slote (eds.), Virtue Ethics. Oxford University Press.

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