The Definition of Moral Virtue

By Yves R. Simon; Vukan Kuic | Go to book overview

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.


NOTES
1.
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.
2.
Henry Bergson, Matter and Memory, trans. Margaret Paul and W. Scott Palmer ( London: Allen, 1912), ch. 2.
3.
Ibid., ch. 3.
4.
Ibid., ch. 4.
5.
See Metaphysics 5. 12.1019A15-B15; also 9.1-7.
6.
"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 case." David Hume, An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Sect. VII Part ii ( Chicago: Open Court, 1909), p. 77.
7.
"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).

-67-

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The Definition of Moral Virtue
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Editor's Preface vii
  • Yves R. Simon (1903-1961) a Bio-Bibliography ix
  • 1 - Modern Substitutes for Virtue 1
  • Conclusion 15
  • Notes 17
  • 2 - Clearing Up Some Confusions 19
  • Notes 44
  • 3 - Further Necessary Distinctions 47
  • Notes 67
  • 4 - Virtue is Not Science 69
  • Notes 87
  • 5 - The Definition of Moral Virtue 91
  • Notes 119
  • 6 - The Interdependence of Virtues 125
  • Notes 131
  • Index 133
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