Magazine article Psychology Today

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Magazine article Psychology Today

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Article excerpt

A Philosophical Complaint

I FIND THE use of the terms "virtue" and "vice" to be profoundly misleading in "When Virtue Becomes Vice" (October). Many points in the article are basic elements from Virtue Ethics 101. The author points out that virtues can be taken too far; in Aristotle, virtues are defined as the mean between two extremes. The claim that "every virtue contains its own vice," while quaint in a yin-yang sort of way, is inaccurate. The author also emphasizes that not every virtue has the same effect in different circumstances; likewise, Aristotle emphasized the importance of context in practicing virtues. In effect, the author is appropriating the language of virtue ethics and then restating its basic tenets as if they were new discoveries rather than ancient wisdom.

MARK ?. WHITE

Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy, College of Staten Island/CUNY New York, NY

An Old Acquaintance THANK YOU FOR bringing Danny Lewin's story to light ("The Genius Who Perished on 9/11," October). I knew Danny, not well but certainly enough to appreciate his genius. We were planning to meet in Los Angeles on the day of that fateful trip.

JUSTIN YAROS

Via Email

Chaos Theory AS SOMEONE WHO is diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, I was disappointed by "Kings and Queens of Chaos" (October). Chaos is a main symptom of a disorder that causes great suffering to those diagnosed as well as to their loved ones. It is not something that we court or feel comforted by. Inner and outer chaos are what drive many of us to harm and Borderlines are written about as if they themselves deserve and bring about the tremendous pain in their lives; this article was no exception.

ANONYMOUS

Columbia, MD

AS THE ADULT child of a recently diagnosed borderline father, I enjoyed Elizabeth Svoboda's excellent article on the disorder. I would love to see a followup article about being raised by a borderline parent. …

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