The skill of virtue

Philosophy in the Contemporary World 14 (2):39-49 (2007)
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Abstract

Despite the prominence of the concept of virtue in contemporary ethical theory, accounts of virtue have often left readers with the impression that the virtuous person is an unattainable ideal or is just psychologically implausible. This article argues that reviving the ancient Greek idea that virtues are like practical skills can help provide a more plausible account of virtue and the virtuous person. The moral knowledge of the virtuous person is analogous to the practical knowledge of the expert in a skill. Instead of relying on a reconstruction of an ancient account of skills for the comparison to virtue, this paper adapts a modem account of skill acquisition developed by Hubert and Smart Dreyfus in their research on artificial intelligence and human expertise. The skill model of virtue offers a promising direction for virtue theory, by using the research on skills to illuminate the otherwise murky concept of virtue.

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Virtue as Mastery in Early Confucianism.Aaron Stalnaker - 2010 - Journal of Religious Ethics 38 (3):404-428.

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