THE PRICE OF VIRTUE
Aristotle famously held that there is a crucial difference between the person who merely acts rightly and the person who is wholehearted in what she does. He captures this contrast by insisting on a distinction between continence and full virtue. One way of accounting for the important difference here is to suppose that, for the genuinely virtuous person, the requirements of virtue “silence” competing reasons for action. I argue that the silencing interpretation is not compelling. As Aristotle rightly saw, virtue can have a cost, and a mark of the wise person is that she recognizes it.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Philosophy Washington University in St. Louis
Publication date: December 1, 2007