Courage and Caution
Courage and caution enable us to find our way among the threats, real and apparent, that we encounter in the course of our practices, sometimes circumventing these threats, sometimes facing them, and sometimes paying their price. When the practice in question is intellectual (research, teaching, investigative reporting, etc.), courage and caution are intellectual virtues. Courage and caution in general do not have an intrinsic structure of motivation, but when we specify them as intellectual virtues, then the love of knowledge is their proper motive. Like other human activities, intellectual ones are fraught with threats — pitfalls, dangers, and difficulties — both apparent and real. The real threats must be respected, yet not allowed to deter the agent from the pursuit of the intellectual goods. The merely apparent ones must be assessed as such, and the resulting fears well managed.
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