the basis of opinion; and that we grasp the Pythagorean theorem by
mathematical habitus. Clearly, we need all these things and could
not do without them. But in order not only to tell right from wrong
but also to do the right thing, we still need moral virtue.
For instance: "All virtues and vices are habits which incorporate
objective forces. They are interactions of elements contributed by the
make-up of an individual with elements supplied by the out-door world.
They can be studied as objectively as physiological functions, and they
can be modified by change of either personal or social elements. . . .
Conduct is always shared; this is the difference between it and physiological process. It is not an ethical 'ought' that conduct should be social. It is
social, whether bad or good."
John Dewey, Human Nature and Conduct
( New York: Holt, 1922), pp. 16-17.
Henry Bergson, Matter and Memory, trans.
Margaret Paul and
W. Scott Palmer
( London: Allen, 1912), ch. 2.
See Metaphysics 5. 12.1019A15-B15; also 9.1-7.
"It appears, then, that this idea of a necessary connection among
events arises from a number of similar instances which occur of the
constant conjunction of these events; nor can that idea ever be suggested
by any one of these instances, surveyed in all possible lights and positions. But there is nothing in a number of instances, different from every
single instance, which is supposed to be exactly similar; except only,
that after a repetition of similar instances, the mind is carried by habit
upon the appearance of one event, to expect its usual attendant, and to
believe that it will exist. This connection, therefore, which we feel in
the mind, this customary transition of the imagination from one object to its usual attendant, is the sentiment or impression from which we
form the idea of power of necessary connection. Nothing farther is in the
David Hume, An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding,
Sect. VII Part ii ( Chicago: Open Court, 1909), p. 77.
"What, then, is the conclusion of the whole matter? A simple one;
though, it must be confessed, pretty remote from the common theories
of philosophy. All belief of matter of fact or real existence is derived
merely from some object, present to the memory or senses, and a customary conjunction between that and some other object." Ibid., Sect. V
Part i (p. 46).
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: The Definition of Moral Virtue.
Contributors: Yves R. Simon - Author, Vukan Kuic - Editor.
Publisher: Fordham University Press.
Place of publication: New York.
Publication year: 1986.
Page number: 67.
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