Aristotle on Becoming Virtuous by Doing Virtuous Actions

Phronesis 61 (1):3-32 (2016)
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Aristotle ’s claim that we become virtuous by doing virtuous actions raises a familiar problem: How can we perform virtuous actions unless we are already virtuous? I reject deflationary accounts of the answer given in _Nicomachean Ethics_ 2.4 and argue instead that proper habituation involves doing virtuous actions with the right motive, i.e. for the sake of the noble, even though learners do not yet have virtuous dispositions. My interpretation confers continuity to habituation and explains in a non-mysterious way how we become virtuous by doing virtuous actions in the right way.



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Marta Jimenez
Emory University

Citations of this work

What's Aristotelian about neo‐Aristotelian Virtue Ethics?Sukaina Hirji - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (3):671-696.
Empeiria and Good Habits in Aristotle’s Ethics.Marta Jimenez - 2019 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 57 (3):363-389.

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References found in this work

Ethics with Aristotle.Sarah Broadie - 1991 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Aristotle on learning to be good.Myles F. Burnyeat - 1980 - In Amélie Rorty (ed.), Essays on Aristotle’s Ethics. University of California Press. pp. 69--92.
Aristotle and the Virtues.Howard J. Curzer - 2012 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Reason and human good in Aristotle.John Madison Cooper - 1975 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

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