Worldly Virtue

Worldly Virtue : Moral Ideals and Contemporary Life

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Worldly Virtue argues that general discussions of virtue need to be complemented by attention to specific virtues. Each chapter addresses a single virtue, most of them traditional (e.g., honesty, generosity, and humility), and sometimes newly framed ("earthly virtue," for instance, and "open hope.") The final essay breaks ground by identifying virtues specific to the fact that we age. The book draws upon various spiritual traditions, especially Christianity and Buddhism, for what they value and the practices that sustain those values; at times it identifies ways in which each can mislead. The book also draws from contemporary sciences, natural but especially behavioral. Anthropologists and sociologists, for instance, have identified a universal norm of reciprocity; virtuous generosity must respect this need to give back. In another example, new understandings of addiction suggest that temperance requires dealing with pain as much as resisting pleasure. Because no single template applies to every virtue, different questions are asked about each. Nevertheless each chapter addresses the often-neglected question of how the virtue in question is acquired, and how social context can support or impede its acquisition. The book is addressed to philosophers, but may also be of interest in religious studies, for its philosophical development of religious more

Product details

  • Hardback | 184 pages
  • 152 x 230 x 18mm | 399.99g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739185829
  • 9780739185827
  • 2,111,125

Review quote

No philosopher writing today surpasses Judith Andre in producing work that is deep, real, and true. Worldly Virtue is her finest achievement, a book that contributes immeasurably to virtue ethics as a whole and to understanding individual virtues in the context of our actual lives and challenging times. This book shows how downright beautiful philosophy can be. -- Claudia Mills, University of Colorado, Boulder [This book is] a concise and accessible work of virtue ethics...Andre is alive to ... important issues, providing thoughtful examples in which these virtues promote flourishing ... and suggesting a number of ways to foster these dispositions...While Andre has developed theoretical accounts of these virtues, she has not left us without suggestions for practical guidance ... Worldly Virtue contains some very interesting ideas. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviewsshow more

About Judith Andre

Judith Andre is professor emerita at Michigan State more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Framing Worldly Virtues Chapter 2 Earthly Virtue Chapter 3 Open Hope Chapter 4 Honoring Oneself: And Sacrificing Oneself? Chapter 5 Defining Compassion Chapter 6 Generosity Revisited Chapter 7 Facets of Honesty Chapter 8 Humility Reconsidered Chapter 9 Complicating Temperance Chapter 10 Virtue and Ageshow more