more from Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski

Single Idea 20196

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 1. Virtue Theory / a. Nature of virtue]

Full Idea

An analysis of virtue is hopeless unless we can assume that most of a selected list of traits count as virtues, in a way not strictly culture. ...These would include wisdom, courage, benevolence, justice, honesty, loyalty, integrity, and generosity.

Gist of Idea

Virtue theory is hopeless if there is no core of agreed universal virtues


Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski (Virtues of the Mind [1996], II 2.1)

Book Reference

Zagzebski,Linda: 'Virtues of the Mind' [CUP 1996], p.89

A Reaction

This requirement needs there to be a single core to human nature, right across the species. If we are infinitely flexible (as existentialists imply) then the virtues will have matching flexibility, and so will be parochial and excessively relative.