Two Sides of 'Silencing'

Philosophical Quarterly 55 (218):68 - 77 (2005)
  Copy   BIBTEX


John McDowell argues that for virtuous agents the requirements of virtue do not outweigh competing considerations, but 'silence' them. He explains this claim in two different ways: a virtuous agent (a) will not be tempted to act in a way which is incompatible with virtue ('motivational silencing'), or (b) will not believe that he has any reason to act in a way which is incompatible with virtue ('rational silencing'). I identify a small class of cases in which alone McDowell's claims about rational silencing are true. He draws his claims from Aristotle's assertion that a life of virtue is 'self-sufficient'. I offer an alternative reading of Aristotle's assertion, which does not imply the truth of McDowell's. But McDowell's claims about motivational silencing are true



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,283

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

Sincerity Silencing.Mary Kate Mcgowan - 2014 - Hypatia 29 (2):458-473.
The price of virtue.Anne Margaret Baxley - 2007 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (4):403–423.
Silencing Desires?Attila Tanyi - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (3):887-903.
Silence and responsibility.Ishani Maitra - 2004 - Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):189–208.
Silencing the Philosopher.Ioannis Trisokkas - 2011 - Babilonia 10:61-75.
On silencing, rape, and responsibility.Ishani Maitra & Mary Kate McGowan - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):167 – 172.
Failing to do things with words.Nicole Wyatt - 2009 - Southwest Philosophy Review 25 (1):135-142.
Silencing speech.Ishani Maitra - 2009 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (2):pp. 309-338.


Added to PP

141 (#132,941)

6 months
16 (#161,060)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Jeffrey Seidman
Vassar College

Citations of this work

Instrumental reasons.Niko Kolodny - 2018 - In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. New York, NY, United States of America: Oxford University Press.
The Reasoning View and Defeasible Practical Reasoning.Samuel Asarnow - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (3):614-636.
Virtuous Construal: In Defense of Silencing.Denise Vigani - 2019 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 5 (2):229-245.
Teleological Suspensions In Fear and Trembling.Kris McDaniel - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (2):425-451.

View all 16 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Free action and free will.Gary Watson - 1987 - Mind 96 (April):154-72.

Add more references