I think that virtue ethicists influenced by Aristotle would be
cautious about linking virtues and habits. A habit may be simply
rule-governed. For example, I follow the rule to always say "thank
you" when given a gift and always give, in return, a gift of equal
value, but I do so without understanding why I should express thanks.
I can hardly be said to have the virtue of gratitude. That's why
neo-Aristotelians invoke the concept of phronesis, or practical
wisdom. I have to understand the meaning of expressing thanks and
engaging in grateful behaviour, as well as doing it on a regular basis (when appropriate), and that comes with experience.
In case anyone's interested, fuller thoughts on this issue appear in
Tudge, Freitas, & O'Brien (2015). The virtue of gratitude: A
developmental and cultural approach. * Human Development, 58*, 281-300.
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On Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 11:30 PM, Greg Thompson
Anyone have suggestions of writings on ethics from a CHAT perspective?
Also, I was quite taken by Annalisa's linking ethics to "habit"
precisely because this is the way that I would like to construe
ethics - embodied habits/dispositions (person X habitually responds
to a particular type of situation with behavior Y). To say anything
more requires invoking one ethical framework or another (and even my
definition does this since the construal of "a particular type of
situation" as such necessarily already invokes cultural
meaningfulnesses that are also likely to entail ethical frameworks).
On Fri, Jul 8, 2016 at 10:52 AM, Andy Blunden <email@example.com> wrote:
... and this is really not the forum for clarifying these issues of
g On 8/07/2016 11:36 AM, Christopher Schuck wrote:
Much of this last interchange seems to be as much about meta-ethics
as normative ethics. Andy chooses to identify ethics with human
activity in terms of practical norms (and some epistemologists
argue that practical reason is inherently normative). Others might
see it more in terms of "ideal good" (as Annalisa put it). If we're
discussing how ethics is to even be conceptualized and approached
(e.g. questioning dichotomies of "good" and "evil", whether a
priori or a posteriori is relevant, virtues as opposed to
criterion-based consequentialism) - we're getting into meta-ethics.
For what that's worth.
On Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 9:18 PM, Annalisa Aguilar <firstname.lastname@example.org>
So you are describing Normative Ethics, not Ethics.
Interestingly, "ethics" does derive from the Greek word for "habit"
A habit seems to have a lack of awareness in it. Certainly habits
are hard to break, which is why we hope to have good habits, not
Unless you would like to define what you mean by "Practical norms"
it seems to be an "amoral" phrase to me.
Typically, as I understand it, ethics is the study of human
morality in the attempt to define what is good and right, vs. not
good and not
one can determine what is proper actions to live by (what habits
are worth having). I consider that to be a consideration of values
a priori. In terms of what is ideal or hypothetical.
Normative ethics seems to be a study of actions a posteriori,
after the fact.
Please note that I do not like to use the terms "evil" or "wrong"
and prefer to orient from the relations of what is good and what is right.
avoids dichotomies, and it allows for a spectrum of something
right, or having more goodness than something else.
Getting back to utilitarianism, I still see it as a justification
for economics, that is, economics as practiced today, which is
usually not done scientifically, though it is very mathematical in
nature. To measure utility requires all kinds of strange formulae,
and that's why I used
metaphor hall of mirrors.
Still, I prefer to consider utility as a projection, than a reflection.
Eating humans has a projected value of goodness in one society,
but not in another.
Not harming myself or others seems to have a universal
application, and so it doesn't seem to be a projected subjective
value, but a reflected
I may claim that a projected value is relative and subjective
while a reflected one is a universal, objective value.
Happiness is also a universal, objective value. I don't know
anyone who doesn't value happiness. However what makes people
happy is a
subjective value. That's where utility comes in.
For what that is worth.
Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Department of Anthropology
880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602