Single Idea 4362

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / a. Natural virtue]

Full Idea

It is universally believed that we have a disposition for justice or temperance or courage from birth, but moral qualities are acquired in another way; natural dispositions are found in children and animals, but without intelligence they can be harmful.

Gist of Idea

Dispositions to virtue are born in us, but without intelligence they can be harmful


Aristotle (Nichomachean Ethics [c.334 BCE], 1144b04)

Book Reference

Aristotle: 'Ethics (Nicomachean)', ed/tr. ThomsonJ A K/TredennickH [Penguin 1976], p.223

A Reaction

An interesting argument, supporting the idea that moral virtue is not only teachable, but has to be taught, because it has an intellectual component.