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Emotion and Virtue$
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Gopal Sreenivasan

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691134550

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691134550.001.0001

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Should Virtue Be Taught?

Should Virtue Be Taught?

(p.299) 12 Should Virtue Be Taught?
Emotion and Virtue

Gopal Sreenivasan

Princeton University Press

This chapter traces philosophical discussions of character education that typically assume that virtue should be taught and clarifies whether it can be taught. It develops several different arguments for the paradoxical conclusion that virtue should not be taught, even when it can be taught. It also cites a dialogue in Plato's Meno, in which the character named Meno evidently presupposes that virtue should be acquired, if only it can be. The chapter examines the extent to which the viability of Meno's presupposition is affected by the specific modalities of character education on how virtue is to be acquired, rather than if it can be acquired. It distinguishes between two different models of virtue acquisition: the ham-fisted Aristotelian model and the Fosbury model.

Keywords:   character education, paradoxical conclusion, virtue acquisition, Meno, Aristotelian model, Fosbury model

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