Week 9: Understanding Virtue

Course Guide

       In Week 9  we come completely out of  Plato's Cave into the light (the good).  Virtue derived from wiros means man or mankind.  We have come to think of virtue as man's capacity for and production of the good.  One primary good is (from the Greek) aletheia or truth. There are others such as humor or love. These goods or virtues vary from culture to culture and age to age.  John Stuart Mill wrote of courage, cleanliness, and veracity in last week's essay "On Nature."  Courage, probity, justice compassion, generosity, humility, simplicity, and responsibility (both to self and society) represent the good in many cultures.

As usual, respond to the week's reading assignment links.  Open the link to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy and click on the link "Virtue Ethics." To get full credit for the reading assignment, you must explain the difference between virtue ethics and modern moral philosophy.  Then, for the writing task, write an essay on the virtues necessary to your good life. 

For 1 extra credit, explain whether beliefs are virtues.

As to virtue, here is a bit from Chaucer's Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, "A knight there was and such a worthy man that from the time he first began to ride out he loved chivalry, truth, honor, and courtesy."