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A Theory of VirtueExcellence in Being for the Good$
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Robert Merrihew Adams

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199207510

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199207510.001.0001

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Moral Frailty and Moral Luck

Moral Frailty and Moral Luck

(p.144) 9 Moral Frailty and Moral Luck
A Theory of Virtue

Robert Merrihew Adams (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Psychological experiments and other empirical data seem to show that good traits of character (even if real) are frail, rather easily overcome by some types of temptation, and are dependent on social context and social support (and thus on ‘moral luck’) for their development, continuance, and behavioural manifestation. It is argued that excellence is not incompatible with fragility, and that the excellence of virtue is no less valuable for being in large part a gift rather than an individual achievement.

Keywords:   traits of character, temptation, social context, social support, excellence of virtue, moral fragility, moral luck, individual achievement, gift

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