more from Owen Flanagan

Single Idea 5348

[catalogued under 20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 3. Acting on Reason / b. Intellectualism]

Full Idea

There are two main pictures of the good person: there is the 'good character', and there is the 'principled actor'. ..The first picture is non-intellectualist, and the second is intellectualist.

Gist of Idea

Intellectualism admires the 'principled actor', non-intellectualism admires the 'good character'


Owen Flanagan (The Problem of the Soul [2002], p.145)

Book Reference

Flanagan,Owen: 'The Problem of the Soul' [Basic Books 2003], p.145

A Reaction

The second ideal elevates the principle itself above the actor who carries it out. Presumably consistency is a virtue, so a good character will at least pay some attention to principles. A good magistrate comes out the same in both views.