Aristotle and the Virtues

Paperback | April 12, 2015

byHoward J. Curzer

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Aristotle is the father of virtue ethics - a discipline which is receiving renewed scholarly attention. Yet Aristotle's accounts of the individual virtues remain opaque, for most contemporary commentators of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics have focused upon other matters. In contrast, Howard J.Curzer takes Aristotle's detailed description of the individual virtues to be central to his ethical theory. Working through the Nicomachean Ethics virtue-by-virtue, explaining and generally defending Aristotle's claims, this book brings each of Aristotle's virtues alive. A new Aristotle emerges, anAristotle fascinated by the details of the individual virtues.Justice and friendship hold special places in Aristotle's virtue theory. Many contemporary discussions place justice and friendship at opposite, perhaps even conflicting, poles of a spectrum. Justice seems to be very much a public, impartial, and dispassionate thing, while friendship isparadigmatically private, partial, and passionate. Yet Curzer argues that in Aristotle's view they are actually symbiotic. Justice is defined in terms of friendship, and good friendship is defined in terms of justice.Curzer goes on to reveal how virtue ethics is not only about being good; it is also about becoming good. Aristotle and the Virtues reconstructs Aristotle's account of moral development. Certain character types serve as stages of moral development. Certain catalysts and mechanisms lead from onestage to the next. Explaining why some people cannot make moral progress specifies the preconditions of moral development. Finally, Curzer describes Aristotle's quest to determine the ultimate goal of moral development, happiness.

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Aristotle is the father of virtue ethics - a discipline which is receiving renewed scholarly attention. Yet Aristotle's accounts of the individual virtues remain opaque, for most contemporary commentators of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics have focused upon other matters. In contrast, Howard J.Curzer takes Aristotle's detailed descripti...

Howard J. Curzer received both BA and MA degrees in mathematics from Wesleyan University and a PhD in philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin. He has taught at Texas Tech University since 1985. In addition to Aristotle's ethical theory, he has published or presented papers on virtue ethics, measurement of moral development, ...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:462 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:April 12, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198709641

ISBN - 13:9780198709640

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Table of Contents

1. IntroductionMORAL VIRTUES2. Courage and Continence (III.6-9)3. Temperance and Incontinence (III10-12)4. Liberality and Benevolence (IV.1)5. Magnificence and Heroic Virtue (IV.2)6. Megalopsychia and Appropriate Ambition (IV.3-4)7. Good Temper and Forgiveness (IV.5)8. Wit and Wounding (IV.8)9. Friendliness and Civility (IV.6)10. Truthfulness and Integrity (IV.7)JUSTICE AND FRIENDSHIP11. General, Particular, and Poetic Justice (V)12. Varieties of Friendship (VIII-IX)13. Justice in Friendship (VIII-IX)MORAL DEVELOPMENT14. Practical Wisdom and Reciprocity of Virtue (VI.12-13)15. Aristotle's Painful Path to Virtue: the Many and the Generous-Minded16. Shame and Moral Development: the Incontinent, the Continent, the Naturally Virtuous, and the Properly Virtuous17. Aristotle's Losers: The Vicious, The Brutish, Natural Slaves, and Tragic Heroes18. Happiness and Luck (I and X.6-8)BibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Curzer's book contains many interesting discussions about new and classical themes related to Aristotle's treatment of the virtues of character. . . provides a fruitful framework for discussion and presents many provocative ideas that will be challenging and worth considering both for thoseworking on modern virtue ethics and for those with a primary interest in ancient ethics." --Marta Jimenez, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews