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Practical Intelligence and the Virtues$
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Daniel C. Russell

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199565795

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199565795.001.0001

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Individuating the Virtues

Individuating the Virtues

(p.177) 6 Individuating the Virtues
Practical Intelligence and the Virtues

Daniel C. Russell (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter proposes resolving the enumeration problem (explained in Chapter 5) by sorting the virtues into a structure of “cardinal” and “subordinate” virtues, and it examines three main issues in support of such an approach. First, the chapter considers various criteria for individuating virtues, and defends the view that virtues are individuated by the kinds of reasons to which the virtues are responsive. Second, since such a criterion relies on the idea that two superficially distinct virtues may actually be responsive to reasons of the same kind, the chapter examines the difficult idea that one reason can be “of the same kind” as another reason. And third, the chapter defines cardinality, and the relation between cardinal and subordinate virtues, such that subordinate virtues are responsive to reasons “of the same kind” as the cardinal virtues to which they are subordinate. The chapter concludes with several implications for the thesis that phronesis must be part of every virtue.

Keywords:   cardinal virtues, content, enumeration of virtues, holism, individuation of virtues, particularism, phronesis, reasons, sameness, subordinate virtues

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