more from Rosalind Hursthouse

Single Idea 4356

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / j. Unity of virtue]

Full Idea

That we have some intuitive belief in the unity of the virtues is shown by our reaction to stories of a person who has shown an exceptional virtue, but also done something morally repellent.

Gist of Idea

We are puzzled by a person who can show an exceptional virtue and also behave very badly


Rosalind Hursthouse (On Virtue Ethics [1999], Ch.7)

Book Reference

Hursthouse,Rosalind: 'On Virtue Ethics' [OUP 2001], p.155

A Reaction

A nice observation, but not enough to establish the unity of virtue. People tend to love all virtue, but it is not obviously impossible to love selected virtues and despise others (e.g. love courage, and despise charity).