Aristotle'S Virtues of Greatness

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the Aristotelian virtues of 'magnificence' and 'magnanimity,'rejecting the popular view that here Aristotle reveals a conception of the virtues asseemly qualities of members of a grand, influential elite. Against this, it is argued first thatsome virtues are restricted to specific groups because only members of those groupswill have the relevant occasion to develop and exercise those virtues; and there isnothing elitist about the thought that unusual social prominence can be such an occasion.Second, it is argued that it is exactly this thought that underlies Aristotle's account ofmagnificence and magnanimity, which require distinctive forms of practical reasoning thatare made salient only by demands peculiar to positions of social prominence. Lastly, theidea that some virtues are distinctive just in virtue of belonging to an elite classindividuates virtues without reference to differences in practical reasoning betweenthem. Such an idea, it is argued, is inimical to the very structure of an Aristotelian virtuetheory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationVirtue and Happiness: Essays in Honour of Julia Annas
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780191743368, 9780199646043
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 24 2013

Fingerprint

Greatness
Aristotle
Practical Reasoning
Elites
Thought
Aristotelian
Magnificence
Salient
Exercise
Conception
Elitist

Keywords

  • Aristotle
  • Elitism
  • Magnanimity
  • Magnificence
  • Virtue
  • Virtue theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

Cite this

Russell, D. C. (2013). Aristotle'S Virtues of Greatness. In Virtue and Happiness: Essays in Honour of Julia Annas Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199646043.003.0008

Aristotle'S Virtues of Greatness. / Russell, Daniel Charles.

Virtue and Happiness: Essays in Honour of Julia Annas. Oxford University Press, 2013.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Russell, DC 2013, Aristotle'S Virtues of Greatness. in Virtue and Happiness: Essays in Honour of Julia Annas. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199646043.003.0008
Russell DC. Aristotle'S Virtues of Greatness. In Virtue and Happiness: Essays in Honour of Julia Annas. Oxford University Press. 2013 https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199646043.003.0008
Russell, Daniel Charles. / Aristotle'S Virtues of Greatness. Virtue and Happiness: Essays in Honour of Julia Annas. Oxford University Press, 2013.
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