Configuring the Moral Self: Aristotle and Dewey [Book Review]

Foundations of Science 13 (3-4):239-250 (2008)
Focusing on the concept of “the moral self” this essay explores relationships between Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and John Dewey’s moral pragmatism and tries to evaluate the extent to which in his work on ethics Aristotle may be considered a pragmatist. Aristotle foreshadows pragmatism, for example, in preferring virtue-based to rule-based ethics, in contending that the moral status of a person’s actions and the nature of the person’s selfhood are interdependent, and in stressing the key role of habits in character formation. Aristotle, however, may seem far from the status of pragmatist when he privileges the life of contemplation and posits a moral self that is more static than the one proposed by Dewey. This essay contends that if more attention is paid to Aristotle’s treatment of friendship and to his highlighting of the need for reciprocity then the moral self that emerges from Nicomachean Ethics becomes more dialectical and more at one with that proposed by the American pragmatist. Aristotle, then, may be regarded as setting Dewey on the path towards a model of moral self that is not only deeply concerned about the lives of others but that is also dependent on others for its own existence
Keywords Dialectical self  Human flourishing  Moral self  Pragmatism  Reciprocity
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10699-008-9137-8
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,165
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory.Alasdair C. MacIntyre - 2007 - University of Notre Dame Press.

View all 18 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

43 ( #121,330 of 2,171,986 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #326,556 of 2,171,986 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums