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date: 20 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The distinction between moral and intellectual virtues was widely accepted by ancient and medieval philosophers. And until relatively recently, most agreed that there is a genuine distinction to be marked here, even if they disagreed as to how this distinction should be drawn. But some now think that there is no real difference between these putative kinds at all, and that all attempts to explain the difference fail. This is the line taken by Linda Zagzebski, for instance, in Virtues of the Mind. This chapter assesses whether different accounts—some traditional, some contemporary—can indeed distinguish between the putative types. Although the author thinks that most fail, there is a genuine difference between moral and intellectual virtues, which can be illustrated by focusing on the distinction between the traits that actions and beliefs express, and the factors that enable these traits to be expressed.

Keywords: virtue, moral, intellectual, trait, Zagzebski, expression

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