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As in Chapter 4, the list of Proverbial virtues produced in Chapter 3 is again compared with Aristotle’s list of moral virtues in order to discover the underlying factors that explain both. Assessing in depth the similarities and differences between the virtue lists of Proverbs and Aristotle, this chapter focuses on their notions of courage, work, speech and friendship. I examine apparent and actual differences in these virtues and discuss the historical, social and doctrinal factors that underlie them. Why, for instance, do Aristotle and Proverbs show marked interest in honor? Or how might Proverbs’ focus on work and Aristotle’s omission of the subject be explained?
This chapter introduces the book’s argument and provide the necessary context for it, addressing ethics in the Old Testament, virtue ethics, objections to this project, the moral philosophers used therein, including Aristotle, Aquinas and MacIntyre, as well as an outline of chapters and methodology.
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