Jane Austen on Practical Wisdom, Constancy, and Unreserve

Philosophy and Literature 41 (1A):178-194 (2017)
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A central, if controversial, Aristotelian claim is that the virtues are connected—that practical wisdom depends upon moral virtue, and moral virtue upon practical wisdom. If those who see Jane Austen's portrayal of the moral life as broadly Aristotelian1 are right, we should expect to see such a dependence shown in Austen's novels. I will argue that we can indeed find portrayed a dependence of wisdom upon character, and in particular upon the virtues Austen calls constancy and unreserve. These two are of interest not only because of the special role Austen seems to give them but also because they are not...



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Christopher H. Toner
University of St. Thomas, Minnesota

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