Thinking of Virtues as Duties
Q&A Radio: 28 January 2014, Question 1
I answered a question on thinking of virtues as duties on 28 January 2014. You can listen to or download the podcast of just this question below – or check out the whole episode of Philosophy in Action Radio.
What's wrong with thinking about the virtues as duties? My parents taught me ethics in terms of "duties." So being honest and just was a duty, along with "sharing" and "selflessness." They were simply "the right way to be," period. Now, I tend to think of the Objectivist virtues – rationality, productiveness, honesty, justice, independence, integrity, and pride – as duties. I have a duty to myself to act in these ways. Is that right or is that a mistake?
My Answer, In Brief: A person who thinks of virtue as duties – as obligations, come what may, disconnected from his life and values – invites serious emotional and cognitive problems.
- Duration: 12:10
- Download: MP3 Segment (4.2 MB)
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- "Causality Versus Duty" by Ayn Rand in Philosophy: Who Needs It
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About Philosophy in Action
I'm Dr. Diana Brickell. I'm a philosopher specializing in the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I received my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. My book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, is available for purchase in paperback and Kindle. The book defends the justice of moral praise and blame of persons using an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility, thereby refuting Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck."
My radio show, Philosophy in Action Radio, broadcasts live over the internet on most Sunday mornings and some Thursday evenings. On Sunday mornings, I answer questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life in a live hour-long show. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers co-hosts the show. On Thursday evenings, I interview an expert guest or discuss a topic of interest.
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