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Virtues - Wanting suggestions for online readings

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EthicsQuestions
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Virtues - Wanting suggestions for online readings

Post by EthicsQuestions » June 10th, 2019, 5:31 am

Hi guys, I am very new to philosophy (as in I started reading about it less than a week ago).

I am curious about virtues - specifically, have philosophers attempted to rank them? In the sense that kindness might be considered a better virtue than courage because of x, y, and z.

Is there clear agreement about what constitutes a virtue?

Where are some good online sources about virtues which would help me answer my questions?

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chewybrian
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Re: Virtues - Wanting suggestions for online readings

Post by chewybrian » June 14th, 2019, 10:45 am

I imagine they have tried, but it jumps to my mind that virtues take different priorities in different situations.

The stoics are my favorite, and they do have four "cardinal" virtues which sort of trump or encompass all others, namely:

wisdom, courage, temperance and justice.

So, as I consider what action might be most virtuous in making my selection at the buffet, courage does not seem to be required, while temperance seems to be at the forefront, with wisdom and justice somewhere in between.

For a source, I would go to the Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy and search for "virtue ethics".
"If determinism holds, then past events have conspired to cause me to hold this view--it is out of my control. Either I am right about free will, or it is not my fault that I am wrong."

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Re: Virtues - Wanting suggestions for online readings

Post by h_k_s » June 19th, 2019, 3:45 pm

EthicsQuestions wrote:
June 10th, 2019, 5:31 am
Hi guys, I am very new to philosophy (as in I started reading about it less than a week ago).

I am curious about virtues - specifically, have philosophers attempted to rank them? In the sense that kindness might be considered a better virtue than courage because of x, y, and z.

Is there clear agreement about what constitutes a virtue?

Where are some good online sources about virtues which would help me answer my questions?
Plato is the expert on virtues.

Aristotle also commented upon them but he gives this a different name, calling it in Greek "the magnanimous man."

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h_k_s
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Re: Virtues - Wanting suggestions for online readings

Post by h_k_s » June 19th, 2019, 3:48 pm

chewybrian wrote:
June 14th, 2019, 10:45 am
I imagine they have tried, but it jumps to my mind that virtues take different priorities in different situations.

The stoics are my favorite, and they do have four "cardinal" virtues which sort of trump or encompass all others, namely:

wisdom, courage, temperance and justice.

So, as I consider what action might be most virtuous in making my selection at the buffet, courage does not seem to be required, while temperance seems to be at the forefront, with wisdom and justice somewhere in between.

For a source, I would go to the Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy and search for "virtue ethics".
This is a great quote @chewybrian thanks.

I would prioritize these Stoic virtues as:

1 - Courage

2 - Justice

3 - Wisdom

4 - Temperance.

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h_k_s
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Re: Virtues - Wanting suggestions for online readings

Post by h_k_s » June 19th, 2019, 3:49 pm

Stoicism is still a relevant modern philosophy especially during hard times. Winston Churchill comes to mind during the Nazi onslaught against Britain.

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Consul
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Re: Virtues - Wanting suggestions for online readings

Post by Consul » June 26th, 2019, 6:28 pm

chewybrian wrote:
June 14th, 2019, 10:45 am
For a source, I would go to the Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy and search for "virtue ethics".
Yes!

* Virtue Ethics: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-virtue/

"A virtue is an excellent trait of character. It is a disposition, well entrenched in its possessor—something that, as we say, goes all the way down, unlike a habit such as being a tea-drinker—to notice, expect, value, feel, desire, choose, act, and react in certain characteristic ways. To possess a virtue is to be a certain sort of person with a certain complex mindset."

Also:

* Virtue Ethics: https://www.iep.utm.edu/virtue/
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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