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How Should One Live?Essays on the Virtues$
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Roger Crisp

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198752349

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198752342.001.0001

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Partiality and the Virtues

Partiality and the Virtues

(p.57) 4 Partiality and the Virtues
How Should One Live?

John Cottingham

Oxford University Press

Argues that the ethical excellences unfolded in the classical Aristotelian conception of the virtuous life presupposes a pre‐existing network of partialistic preferences, and that its resulting rootedness in the real world gives virtue theory a decisive edge over its more abstract competitors. The ‘autocentric’ perspective of virtue ethics need not, however, imply a complacent and unfeeling social conservatism. Finally, charts the shift between such autocentric conceptions of ethics and more universalist accounts of morality, with special reference to Cartesian ethics, where we find an uneasy blend of traditional ‘aretic’ and proto‐Kantian elements.

Keywords:   Aristotelian ethics, Cartesian ethics, Kantian ethics, partiality, virtue, virtue ethics

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