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On the Virtues in General: thirteen articles

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

E. M. Atkins
Affiliation:
University of Leeds
Thomas Williams
Affiliation:
University of Iowa
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Summary

The first question is whether the virtues are dispositions.

The second is whether the definition of virtue given by Augustine is appropriate.

The third is whether a capacity of the soul can be a possessor of virtue.

The fourth is whether the aggressive or the sensual parts of the soul can be the possessors of virtue.

The fifth is whether the will is a possessor of virtue.

The sixth is whether virtue is found in the practical intelligence as its possessor.

The seventh is whether virtue is found in the theoretical intelligence.

The eighth is whether the virtues are in us by nature.

The ninth is whether we acquire the virtues by our actions.

The tenth is whether some virtues are infused into us.

The eleventh is whether infused virtue may be increased.

The twelfth is about the distinctions between the virtues.

The thirteenth is whether virtue is found in a mid-point.

Article 1: Whether the virtues are dispositions

Objections

It seems that they are not, but rather actions, because:

(1) Augustine says [Rev 1.9] that virtue is the good use of free judgement. But the use of free judgement is an action. Therefore virtue is an action.

(2) People are owed a reward only by reason of their actions. However, everyone who possesses virtue is owed a reward, because anyone who dies in a condition of charity will reach blessedness. Therefore virtue is something meritorious. But it is actions that are meritorious. Therefore virtue is an action.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2005

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