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Francis_C_phi101paper4_draft_comments

Francis_C_phi101paper4_draft_comments - Caffrey Francis...

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Caffrey Francis December 12, 2010 Dr.Felis M/W/F: 11:00-11:50 Outline 1. Define and explain virtues of character in considerable detail. a. Give your best, clearest explanation of what virtues are, how virtues come to be, how virtues relate to the highest good, etc. i. Clearest explanation of what virtues of character are- Is people’s excellence in  using reason to control our actions, desires, and emotions. ii. How virtues come to be- Virtue is about behavior- about what people do. So  it is about action. Virtues and vices of character are not a quality we have by  nature, but developed qualities that we are responsible for developing. We  are praiseworthy if we do all the virtues, and blameworthy if we do all the  vices.  We develop virtue not by habit but through consistency. A virtue is not a habit,  but it comes about in us through the process of habituation. A virtue of  character is a quality that becomes a virtue by finding out the mean. The  mean is the highest good this is determined by reason as opposed to  impulse. Consistently choosing the mean in matters of acting on the feeling of  impulse helps a person develop virtues. Every virtue has to have at least two  Vices. Vices are two extremes that are opposite from one another. That is all   good as far as it goes, but there is more to say. Let me try to say it another   way that overlaps with and adds a bit to your version:       A person who has cultivated a virtue has developed something like a skill,   an "active condition" (see Sachs' glossary) or way of holding oneself with   respect to the relevant circumstances. Think of an active condition as a set of   mental tools and attitudes, a learned way of thinking about and dealing with   certain kinds of situations. Courage, for example, doesn't consist simply in   doing courageous things (although that is how one develops the virtue of   courage). Rather, the virtue of courage is the set of learned mental tools and  
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attitudes by which a person finds the mean with respect to the emotions of   confidence and fear (fight or flight responses) that arise in situations which   pose a threat to them; a courageous person smoothly masters their emotions,   neither feeling excessive fear nor being moved to action by fear more than is   appropriate to the situation.  One comes to be courageous by practicing   courage, but think of it this way: At first, a person facing danger for the first   time might manag e to master their fear and do what is needed, but it will take  
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